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Ex CEO Carlos Ghosn suing Nissan for $1 billion

Former Nissan global chief executive Carlos Ghosn has filed a lawsuit against the Japanese vehicle manufacturer to try to claim £1 billion in compensation and punitative damages.

It relates to his arrested in Japan in late 2018 when he was held in prison for more than three months and charged with financial misconduct while at Nssan.

He denied the charge and said his detention was part of a plot by Nissan executives to block a merger.

Eventually released from jail, but remaining under house arrest, Ghosn escaped Japan hidden in a box aboard a private jet in December 2019, fleeing to Lebanon, his childhood home.

He has filed the lawsuit in Lebanon and accuses Nissan along with two other companies and 12 named individuals of crimes including defamation, slander, libel and the fabrication of material evidence, reports Reuters.

Ghosn was due to face trial over financial misconduct charges in 2020, had been subject to around-the-clock surveillance since April but managed to travel to his mother’s native country where he was raised and has citizenship.

Once in Lebanon Ghosn stated: “I have escaped injustice and political persecution.”

He maintains that he is the victim of a conspiracy among Nissan executives, prosecutors and government officials to prevent him from further integrating the Japanese OEM with its alliance partner, France’s Renault.

Japanese prosecutors and the US Securities and Exchange Commission claim Ghosn and Nissan violated pay-disclosure rules, receiving $140 million (£106m) more compensation than the company reported to shareholders.

The executive also faced breach-of-trust charges related to transactions that transferred personal investment losses to Nissan – allegedly moving money from a dealership in Oman into a company he controls in Lebanon.

After Ghosn fled Japan Interpol issued a ‘red notice’ for his arrest – a request to police across the world to provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender or other similar legal action.

But Lebanon does not have an extradition treaty with Japan, and Ghosn has Lebanese, Brazilian and French citizenship.

Ghosn had posted 1bn yen in bail (£6.8m) in Japan ahead of his trial, after he’d been held in prison for more than 100 days following his arrest in November 2018 for alleged financial crimes.

Tim Rose

As editor, Tim is responsible for the media content, planning and production of AM’s multiple channels (AM print and digital magazines, website, social media and contributing to our events planning). He interviews and writes about as many franchised dealer groups and UK divisions of motor manufacturers as possible, to explore the issues facing UK motor retail and understand what solutions dealers and suppliers are using to overcome these. 

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