Ousted Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn is suspected of shifting some ¥1.7 billion ($15 million) of losses from personal investments to the automaker in 2008, adding to allegations of financial misconduct against him, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.
According to the sources, Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission was aware of the alleged misconduct in relation to Ghosn’s derivatives trading and notified the bank involved in the transaction of the possibility that he had committed an aggravated breach of trust. The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission told The Japan Times on Tuesday it does not comment on specific cases.
Nissan shouldered the losses incurred amid the global financial crisis in 2008 after Ghosn could not secure adequate collateral, the sources said.
Ghosn was arrested last week for allegedly violating Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act by underreporting his remuneration by around ¥5 billion over five years to March 2015. He received nearly ¥10 billion from the firm during that period.
According to the sources, the former Nissan chairman admitted not having included in the securities reports part of the remuneration he was set to receive when he retires. “There is no need to include them as their payments have not been settled,” Ghosn was quoted by the sources as saying.
Ghosn is also suspected of having used one of Nissan’s business jets for private trips, the sources said. The 64-year-old is said to have traveled aboard one of Nissan’s leased planes for nonbusiness purposes.
The jet, which was set aside for Ghosn’s dedicated use, flew to countries where the automaker has no major bases. Destinations included Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, where Ghosn allegedly used for free a residence the Nissan group spent several hundred million yen to purchase, the sources said.
When the home was renovated four or five years ago, Ghosn was seen visiting the site almost every month.
According to a private website that shows flight routes of planes around the world by capturing their flight signals, the Nissan jet has flown to Lebanon several times since last month. The jet traveled from Lebanon on Nov. 19, when Ghosn was arrested upon his arrival at Haneda Airport in Tokyo.
The plane, manufactured by Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and bearing the registration number “N155AN,” is a high-end model priced in billions of yen, boasting one of the fastest and longest distance flight capabilities available in a business jet.
Ghosn was ousted as chairman last week by the Nissan board of directors along with Greg Kelly, a former Nissan representative director, who is suspected of conspiring with Ghosn. Both Ghosn and Kelly are reported to have denied the charges against them.
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