POST Online Media Lite Edition


New moment in Ghosn case: Nissan several times confirmed his transactions were OK

Staff Writer |
Carlos Ghosn denied reports that he passed on personal trading losses to the car maker, the first formal comment from the executive who is detained on numerous allegations of financial misdeeds.

Article continues below

Ghosn acknowledged consulting Nissan about the collateral related to the contract, but did not transfer the losses to the automaker, said Motonari Otsuru, a lawyer representing the former chairman. Otsuru, the former director of the same Tokyo prosecutors’ office department that is now investigating Ghosn, spoke to Bloomberg News after meeting with the detained official.

Local media reported on Tuesday that Ghosn may have passed ¥1.7 billion (Dh54.7 million) in personal investment losses relating to a derivatives contract on to the company in 2008.

The comments are the first attempt by the 64-year-old Ghosn to defend himself after the car maker said he misused company money for personal matters and understated income. He was arrested in Tokyo November 19 and Japanese media have since then published details of the alleged violations on an almost daily basis.

Ghosn, who hasn’t made any public statements since he was detained, denies wrongdoing in connection with the allegations, broadcaster NHK reported on Sunday.

Nissan’s auditor had repeatedly questioned transactions at the heart of allegations of financial misconduct by Ghosn but Nissan said they were proper, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Ernst & Young ShinNihon questioned Nissan's management several times, chiefly around 2013, about purchases of overseas luxury homes for Ghosn’s personal use and of stock-appreciation rights that were conferred on him, Reuters said.

But the car maker said the transactions and financial reporting were appropriate, the source said.

The revelation shows Nissan and its auditor were discussing the transactions, in apparent contrast with Nissan’s contention that the alleged misreporting of benefits for Ghosn was masterminded by him and a key lieutenant.

Nissan has largely pinned the blame on Ghosn and Greg Kelly, a former representative director who was arrested along with Ghosn on the same allegations.

Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors removed Ghosn as chairman in the wake of his arrest. The French member of the three-firm alliance, Renault, retains him as chairman and CEO.

What to read next

Nissan to launch self-driving car in Japan in 2016
Fitch affirms Nissan Motor at BBB with stable outlook
Ghosn faces rearrest over reported income for fiscal 2015-17