December 5, 2018 – Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn failed to report more than ¥4 billion in executive remuneration he received from the auto giant from fiscal 2015 through 2017, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Ghosn and Greg Kelly, his close aide and a former Nissan representative director, have been detained by the special investigation unit of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on suspicion of under-reporting his pay by some ¥5 billion from fiscal 2011 through 2014. The prosecutors apparently suspect that the former top executive failed to report a total of more than ¥9 billion between fiscal 2010 and 2017.
According to individuals close to the case, Ghosn is suspected of reporting only ¥2.9 billion between fiscal 2015 and 2017, although he actually received a total of about ¥7 billion in executive remuneration. The prosecutors are investigating this amount with an eye to pressing additional charges against Ghosn.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that there were two types of agreement between the former chairman and Nissan to pay Ghosn the unreported amount following his retirement, according to individuals familiar with the documents. In one document, conditions were set for when Ghosn left only the Nissan chairmanship; the other was to be executed in the event of Ghosn stepping down from both the chairmanship of Nissan and French automaker Renault S.A., which is in a business and capital tie-up with the Japanese automaker. Differing amounts were set in those two cases to reflect differing contribution to Nissan by Ghosn, they said.
The former chairman is apparently denying the accusations, saying that the amount he was going to receive was not fixed and it was not obligatory to report it.