Ousted Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn may be arrested again by Japanese authorities as part of their ongoing investigation into charges of alleged financial misconduct by the former company executive and a colleague.
Ghosn was initially expected to be released on Dec. 10, after having his release delayed two times already. Japanese law allows investigators to arrest a suspect again if new criminal charges are filed, which is exactly what is expected to happen with Ghosn.
He could be detained until the end of the year. Japanese prosecutors are expected to file charges that Ghosn’s total compensation for 2016 and 2017 exceeded the cap set by the company’s shareholders, according to an Automotive News report.
The new allegation is in addition to reports from two Japanese newspapers that Ghosn may have passed on $8.8 million incurred from derivative trading to Nissan in 2008, the height of the Great Recession.
(A “too powerful” Carlos Ghosn to be booted from Mitsubishi. Click Here for the story.)
Ghosn, who had been the head of the Renault-Nissan Alliance for two decades, was arrested Nov. 19 as he entered Japan. Japanese law allows him to be held for 22 days before being indicted, released or, as happened in his case, having his detention extended.
Because of the new charges, the time he can be held is “reset,” which means he could mark the new year in Japanese custody.
Ghosn and another Nissan executive, Representative Director Greg Kelly, 62, were arrested as they entered Japan. They were accused of a variety of financial crimes, Ghosn allegedly concealing about $45 million in income while also making personal use of Nissan assets. Kelly was accused of collaborating in the scheme.
(Click Here for more about how Ghosn scandal could fracture Renault-Nissan Alliance.)
Ghosn and Kelly have denied any wrongdoing, according to Japanese media. New charges against Ghosn include possibly receiving 2.5 billion yen ($22 million) in total compensation during the two fiscal years ending March 31, 2018.
When that is combined with the compensation of the other directors, the total pay to all directors exceeds 3 billion yen ($26.4 million), the Nikkei reported, exceeding a cap of 2.99 billion yen ($26.3 million) on total director pay set by shareholders at their annual meeting in June 2008.
All of this is occurring as Nissan’s board and current CEO Hiroto Saikawa forge ahead, attempting to get a new chairman in place. Three board members were slated to select a new chairman from the current board of directors. However, they could not agree on a person.
(To read more about Ghosn’s detention, Click Here.)
That designee was supposed to be voted on by the entire board when it meets in two weeks. Nissan would still need to call an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting to vote on removing Ghosn and Kelly as directors, according to reports.