Nissan Sues Carlos Ghosn For $90 Million
Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday in a release it is suing its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn for “an initial amount” of $90 million “in order to recover a significant part of the monetary damages inflicted on the company (by Ghosn)..as a result of years of his misconduct and fraudulent activity.”
Ghosn fled to his native Lebanon from Japan on Dec. 29 while on bail awaiting trial on charges of financial misconduct. During a news conference in Lebanon shortly after his arrival Ghosn said he made his daring escape because did not believe he would receive a fair trial in Japan.
In its release announcing this latest legal action against Ghosn, Nissan said its claim of damages is “linked to Ghosn’s breach of fiduciary duty as a company director and his misappropriation of Nissan’s resources and assets.” The company also said it expected the size of damages to increase as it seeks to recover fines paid to the Japanese Financial Services Agency and “likely” penalties imposed on Nissan in criminal proceedings to Ghosn’s alleged misconduct.
Nissan said it calculated the initial amount of damages it is seeking based on:
Funds linked to fraudulent payments made to or by Ghosn as outlined in Nissan’s statement of September 9, 2019, including the use of overseas residential property without paying rent, private use of corporate jets, payments to his sister, payments to his personal lawyer in Lebanon, etc.
Resources and costs related to Nissan’s internal investigation into Ghosn and his misconduct
Legal and regulatory costs incurred in Japan, the U.S., the Netherlands and other territories
During his Jan. 8 news conference, Ghosn made a number of charges against Nissan and Japanese law enforcement officials including, “My unimaginable ordeal is the result of a handful of unscrupulous, vindictive individuals.”
Taking his statements to the press into account, Nissan said it is reserving the right to pursue separate legal action against Ghosn based on what it termed “groundless and defamatory remarks” made during that news conference.
Ghosn has said he is prepared to remain in Lebanon for an extended period, and he will be compelled to stay there after Lebanese authorities issued a travel ban following an alert issued by Interpol for his arrest.
Lebanon and Japan do not have an extradition agreement immunizing Ghosn, for now, from being arrested and brought back to the country he fled in December to face prosecution.
This latest legal action against him is the newest chapter in an almost two-year odyssey that saw Ghosn go from automotive miracle worker who saved Nissan from near bankruptcy in 1999 and head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance to international fugitive.
In 2018 Ghosn was arrested in Japan and charged with financial wrongdoing including misuse of company money and under reporting his earnings over several years, and was eventually fired.