Nissan's Ousted Chairman Jailed Under Rough Conditions

Report

Life's taken a difficult turn for Carlos Ghosn.

When a high-powered executive is arrested for a white-collar crime, you might figure he (or she) would be held in a pretty plush jail, right? So would we, but that's not the case for Carlos Ghosn.

After Nissan fired Ghosn for misconduct, Japanese authorities arrested him, pending investigation into his finances. And according to the latest, they're not holding him in a very hospitable environment. Automotive News Europe reports that the Lebanese-French-Brazilian executive is being held in a detention center in Tokyo “that is known for an austere regime” – not the least of which is its cold conditions.

Ghosn may also be forced to wear a mask when meeting with visitors (ostensibly including his attorneys) and be prevented from resting during daylight hours. And we doubt his cell is quite as comfortable as, say, the back seat of an Infiniti Q70L – one of the most luxurious of the many models made under Ghosn's leadership.

Japanese authorities can reportedly hold Ghosn for as many as 23 days before charging him. That ought to give the Tokyo District Prosecutor's Office enough time to outline the case against Ghosn, which could include tax fraud and misappropriation of company resources.

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According to reports, Ghosn could have over $40 million in undeclared income, while Nissan bought him (assuredly luxurious) residences in cities around the world – including Tokyo, New York, Paris, Amsterdam, and Beirut. His older sister is also said to be living in a company apartment in Rio de Janeiro, where she's paid a handsome retainer for “managing” the property.

Mitsubishi has declared its intention to follow Nissan's lead and fire Ghosn as well, but Renault – another member of the alliance over which Ghosn presides – has taken a different approach, naming interim placeholders and keeping the embattled chief executive formally in his position.

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