Nissan chairman arrested in probe of financial misconduct
TOKYO (AP) — Japanese prosecutors were considering Tuesday whether to file formal charges against Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn amid a probe into allegations he misused company assets and under-reported millions of dollars of income.
The arrest of Ghosn after a whistleblower disclosed the alleged misconduct left many in Japan stunned by the downfall of a relentless cost-cutter who appears to have spent lavishly on himself.
The scandal reverberated across the globe and abruptly threw into question Ghosn’s future as leader of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, which sold 10.6 million cars last year, more than any other manufacturer.
“Actually, we also have a Nissan car. So I do feel a little betrayed because he essentially was being dishonest,” Noriko Handa, a housewife in her 50s, said as she walked near downtown Tokyo’s Shimbashi train station.
Prosecutors said they were holding Ghosn, 64, for allegedly collaborating to falsify securities statements and underreport $44.6 million in income from 2011 to 2015.
A second Nissan executive, Greg Kelly, was also suspected of collaborating with him.
There was no word from Ghosn himself.
Prosecutors have refused to say where he was being held.
The prosecutors, who reportedly arrested Ghosn after questioning him upon his arrival by private jet at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, have 48 hours from the time of Ghosn’s arrest Monday to decide whether to press charges.
They can hold a suspect for up to 20 more days per charge if they decide they need more time.