Nissan has also been indicated for failing to stop the crime.
It’s been a spectacular fall from grace for former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn. Often credited for rescuing Nissan from bankruptcy in the early 2000s, Ghosn was arrested by Japanese authorities three weeks ago after being accused of underreporting his earnings and using company assets. He’s been stuck in a jail cell ever since and was also removed from his position of Mitsubishi CEO following his arrest. He still remains as chairman and CEO of Renault, the third partner in the alliance, however.
Now, Ghosn and his close aide Greg Kelly have been formally charged for financial misconduct by Japanese prosecutors. Both men were also re-arrested for similar allegations dating back several years, prolonging their jail sentence in Japan for another 20 days until December 30.
Nissan has also been indicted for its alleged role in filing securities reports that understated Ghosn’s compensation. “Making false disclosures in annual securities reports greatly harms the integrity of Nissan’s public disclosures in the securities markets, and the company expresses its deepest regret,” Nissan said in a statement. “Nissan will continue its efforts to strengthen its governance and compliance, including making accurate disclosures of corporate information.”
According to Japanese media, prosecutors are accusing Nissan and the two executives of violating Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act by allegedly under-reporting Ghosn’s compensation by around 5 billion yen ($44.4 million) in the 2010-2014 fiscal years. The two were also re-arrested on new allegations that they also under-reported compensation in the fiscal years 2015-2017 by 4 billion yen ($35.5 million).
Ghosn has denied any wrongdoing but has not released a public statement. If found guilty, Ghosn and Kelly could each face up to 10 years in jail, a fine up to 10 million yen ($88,750), or both. Nissan could also be fined up to 700 million yen ($6.21 million).