Sacked Ghosn denies financial misconduct allegations at Nissan

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn denies salary fraud charges

Ex-Nissan Chief Denies Financial Misconduct Allegations: Media

On Monday, Nissan's chief executive has told staff of his "shock" at the allegations against Mr Ghosn.

Carlos Ghosn has been sacked as chairman of Mitsubishi Motors, a week after the disgraced auto tycoon was arrested over allegations that he underreported his income by millions of dollars - a crime that carries a possible 10-year prison sentence.

The Yomiuri, Japan's biggest-circulation daily, said Nissan had been paying Ghosn's elder sister $100,000 a year since 2002 for a non-existent advisory role.

"During today's board meeting, it was decided that he is dismissed as chairman", the firm said in a statement following a gathering that lasted just over an hour.

His firing from Mitsubishi Motors would mark the removal of the man credited with stabilizing the company after it was rocked by a cheating scandal in 2016. It employs around 450,000 people worldwide.

Ghosn was arrested for allegedly underreporting his remuneration by around 5 billion yen ($44 million) for five years through fiscal 2014. Under Japanese law, a suspect can be held in custody for up to three weeks per suspected charge without any charges being filed. Of the residences, those in Rio and Beirut were purchased by a Dutch subsidiary of Nissan, using billions of yen sent via a number of firms including those in tax havens.

At Nissan's Thursday board meeting, Renault appointees also voted to eject Ghosn.

Greg Kelly, a former representative director of Nissan who was arrested with Ghosn, insists he handled his boss's financial matters appropriately, according to the sources.

Sources close to the matter told Mainichi that Ghosn had Nissan pay for donations to a foreign university attended by his daughter, but also family trips.

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn denies salary fraud charges

Executives accelerated the probe amid concerns Mr Ghosn was working on a fully fledged merger between Nissan and Renault, Kyodo News said, without naming its sources.

Executives from all three alliance partners are meeting in Amsterdam this week to deal with how to move forward, especially in regards to the potential power struggle between Nissan and Renault.

Renault, which is 15% owned by the French state, has made a decision to stick by Ghosn for now, appointing Thierry Bollore as interim boss while the current CEO and chairman is "incapacitated".

France's Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has urged the Japanese firm to share "quickly" whatever evidence it has gathered and stressed that Mr Ghosn will stay at the helm of Renault "until there are tangible charges".

Le Maire added, however, that he did not believe "conspiracy theories" that Ghosn had been the victim of a "palace coup" to prevent him from merging Nissan and Renault.

The difficulty now will be to find a replacement to lead the three-way alliance.

CEO Hiroto Saikawa hinted Monday he intends to review the carmaker's alliance with Renault, according to company sources. Not to do so would be irresponsible. Under French rules, if Renault lowered its stake in Nissan below 40%, then it will help the Japanese carmaker get voting rights in the French company.

Even as Nissan has recovered and grown rapidly, it remains a junior partner in the shareholding structure.

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