crime

Prosecutors weigh bringing charges against Nissan over Ghosn case

36 Comments
By Richard Carter and Joseph Schmid

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Saikawa is a jealous weak little man as the article states it clearly

Paris and Tokyo have been scrambling to contain the fall-out from the arrest, with the finance ministers of both countries declaring strong support for "one of the greatest symbols of Franco-Japanese industrial cooperation."

The only good thing so far..

0 ( +8 / -8 )

The Yomiuri Shimbun on Tuesday quoted Nissan executives slamming Ghosn as "greedy".

Typical of the older generation

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Yet the 10001 scandals that have occured in Japan, all relating to money, not one has been put down as severly as Carlos.

Just the fake old bow and tomorrows a new day..

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Similar things are happening everywhere throughout the world. Greed is the engine of the capitalism nay of any society. With huge money Ghosn received, how and for what is he using the money?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

These reports are vague, all CEO, Chairmens etc of high level positions would have their salaries stated publicly if it is a publicly traded company, in other articles his salary is clearly stated:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/06/22/business/corporate-business/nissan-ceo-ghosns-pay-tops-¥1-billion-second-year/

Question everything, not just agree to what the media forcefeeds you..

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The Yomiuri Shimbun on Tuesday quoted Nissan executives slamming Ghosn as "greedy".

Typical of the older generation

The guy was literally stealing money from Nissan and its shareholders, so yeah, he was greedy. And he is being held to account for that.

I don't often agree with the "older generation", but in this case they are correct.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

I want to know how this salary skimming from other executives occurred. I don’t believe the foreign properties issue is real, since the properties were all in the name of the Nissan. Surely there is more to it than this and the details will be very interesting.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

These reports are vague, all CEO, Chairmens etc of high level positions would have their salaries stated publicly if it is a publicly traded company, in other articles his salary is clearly stated:

He has been arrested specifically because he did NOT clearly state his remuneration.

Nissan is obligated under Japanese securities regulation to annually report the total compensation paid to all executives earning in excess of 100 million Yen. It reported his earnings last year as being 735 million Yen. According to the news reports, his actual compensation was much higher than that and this was deliberately hidden so as to avoid reporting it. Likely this is because the actual amount he received was higher than that authorized by the shareholders meeting (which under Art. 361 of the Companies Act are required to approve limits on the compensation paid to the board of directors).

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Even if he did what is alleged, I am very surprised and concerned that they arrested him. I do not recall a Japanese CEO of a major corporation ever being suddenly arrested. This really won't help Japan's goal of bringing in world class professionals to work here knowing that the Japanese will envy them and take an opportunity to get them.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Even if he did what is alleged, I am very surprised and concerned that they arrested him. I do not recall a Japanese CEO of a major corporation ever being suddenly arrested.

Two words: Olympus Scandal.

The President, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, Executive Vice-President Hisashi Mori etc, were arrested after there was enough evidence of their involvement.

This really won't help Japan's goal of bringing in world class professionals to work here knowing that the Japanese will envy them and take an opportunity to get them.

Why is that? The Japanese wont take an opportunity to get them as long as the follow the law, follow Japanese corporate cultural norms and don't attempt to undermine the power of the Japanese company to a foreign entity. You do realize Ghosn was setting the groundwork to merge Nissan with Renault. RENAULT, a company that is literally just a parasite on Nissan's success. If that merger went ahead, Nissan would be a slave to a company that performs worse.

He has been arrested specifically because he did NOT clearly state his remuneration.

Nissan is obligated under Japanese securities regulation to annually report the total compensation paid to all executives earning in excess of 100 million Yen. It reported his earnings last year as being 735 million Yen. According to the news reports, his actual compensation was much higher than that and this was deliberately hidden so as to avoid reporting it. Likely this is because the actual amount he received was higher than that authorized by the shareholders meeting (which under Art. 361 of the Companies Act are required to approve limits on the compensation paid to the board of directors).

Its okay rainy, you and I are probably the only logical people on this board that actually understand the legalities behind it.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

If anyone is wondering what the article 361 says :

Article 361 (1) The following matters with respect to the financial benefits received from a Stock Company as a consideration for the execution of the duties, such as remunerations and bonuses, (hereinafter in this Chapter referred to as "Remunerations") of directors shall be fixed by resolution of a shareholders meeting if such matters are not prescribed in the articles of incorporation:

As such if he actually receives more than the amount that the shareholders decided its ILLEGAL.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I suppose his being paid by three (or more) companies in two (or more) countries facilitated this. I wonder if Renault was conducting similar behavior.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Media reports also spoke of a lavish Marie Antoinette-themed party in 2016 for Ghosn's second wedding, at the grandiose palace of Versailles.

And then he looked outside, at the common people, and said 'Let them eat cake'!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Are you a Japanese lawyer? I highly doubt it, The only thing 'logical' if you can understand the magnitude of large scale mergers, you do not understand what the merger would become, it is a good thing, it would essentially be an integrated company Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi, no different to GM, different brands under one company. Nissan will slowly go back to decline after all this, share price is proving it.

Nissans success would not be where it is today if it werent for Carlos, every other CEO prior to Carlos failed and went to bankruptacy twice.

Take Disney for example, they were running out of money in the late 80s and in decline, they changed management several times and bought up a lot of companies, not to mention the recent companies of Lucas and Marvel for example.

I know people working in the Yokohama office of Nissan and they themselves think it is odd and all signs points to Saikawa, their Finance Dept and other internal conflicts. SHare price has tanked, so good luck on the next bankruptacy.

In general, yes all people should abide by the law, that is common sense. At the same time, all the articles both from the foreign media and in Japan, all is vague and the person who saves a company and loves Japan in general if you read his books, youll understand his character more of the person.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Nissan took Ghosn down because he wanted to merge Renault and Nissan.... thus weakening the upper management at Nissan. This is to all you people in Japan looking through "Rose Colored Glasses", wake up! Think about what Nissan did. They basically scuttled their own ship in order to take out a Captain that they were afraid of. This was mutiny and it was done without any regard to stockholders.... although that is normal for Japan. In the case of Olympus.... Woodward was trying to fix the company but they still got rid of him.... now Ghosn, who was probably also trying to fix Nissan, they stabbed him in the back. What a petty protective world in the land of what now is the setting sun.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Nissan under Ghosn produced loads of crap and CVT transmission that goes to trash after 150000 miles.

The only reason people still buy Nissan is because of their reputation in the 80s and 90s as durable & reliable brand that also brought a literal godzilla to the automotive racing scene and the market that is GT-R badged Skylines.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Ghosn Nissan cost cutting legacy - you get what you pay for.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Just as I called it yesterday about responsibility: "...the Japanese car giant could itself face charges over the alleged financial misconduct that led to the stunning arrest of its chairman Carlos Ghosn."

I also said that this was probably jealousy on the part of Saikawa. Now the latest round of announcements provides evidence of this: "Ghosn's fate appears all but sealed after his hand-picked replacement as CEO, Hiroto Saikawa, launched an astonishing broadside at his mentor, saying "too much authority" had been placed in his hands and lamenting the "dark side of the Ghosn era."'

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Two words: Olympus Scandal.

The President, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, Executive Vice-President Hisashi Mori etc, were arrested after there was enough evidence of their involvement.

And received suspended sentences.

In July 2013, Kikugawa and Mori were both sentenced to 3 years in prison, 5 years suspended. The auditor who had been party to the fraud was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison, 4 years suspended.

That's what is probably coming for Ghosn, if found guilty.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

SaikoPhysco

Summed it up perfectly and is 110% correct.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Hence why Carlos should have never hired Saikawa, he plotted it all along.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I'd like to hear Ghosn's side of the story first. Seems very strange for him to imagine he could get away with pinching $10 million a year without being found out, even if he thought his salary (of about $10 million a year) was low compared to some other execs outside Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nissan under Ghosn produced loads of crap and CVT transmission that goes to trash after 150000 miles. The only reason people still buy Nissan is because of their reputation in the 80s and 90s as durable & reliable brand that also brought a literal godzilla to the automotive racing scene and the market that is GT-R badged Skylines.

And you sir clearly know nothing about cars!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Tokyo prosecutors believe Nissan also has a case to answer in the under-reporting of Ghosn's package

Of course they do. Nissan's accounting department and auditors have a lot to answer for. It is impossible, especially for a foreigner who can't read Japanese, with 3 passports, and numerous residences to get a even a grasp of the complexities of filling out financial papers correctly in such a case. There are dozens of people involved in shuffling all those papers. And of course the timing is because of the planned merger of Renault and Nissan (pushed forward by Macron) giving the French government a say in the running of a Japanese company which Nissan executives were dead set against for understandable reasons.

https://www.ft.com/content/2bd83b12-ecbe-11e8-89c8-d36339d835c0

The plot thickens...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Are you a Japanese lawyer?

No, but I have two postgraduate degrees in law from one of the top national universities in Japan, and have taught corporate law at another. Good enough?

In general, yes all people should abide by the law, that is common sense. At the same time, all the articles both from the foreign media and in Japan, all is vague and the person who saves a company and loves Japan in general if you read his books, youll understand his character more of the person.

I don’t have anyrhing against Ghosn personally and understand the background at Nissan that he entered and what he did. But at the same time, the allegations against him are extremely serious. If he wanted more money then he should have openly negotiated for it rather than just secretly taking it and defrauding the company as alleged.

I am not a huge fan of his pay package as it was since I don’t think US style executive compensation is effective and mostly just wastes corporate money. But I wouldn’t have been so mad if he had followed the law, which exists for good reason to deal with this sort of thing.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I do not recall a Japanese CEO of a major corporation ever being suddenly arrested. 

True, but unlike the vast majority of Japanese company directors who get investigated for this sort of thing, Carlos poses a significant flight risk. He holds multiple foreign passports, has tremendous financial resources, employment overseas, a family overseas, lives in Japan off and on for only part of the year.

If prosecutors had showed up at Nissan to seize documents without detaining Carlos, it's very possible that he could have hopped on a private jet the same night and never returned to Japan to face possible charges. This is likely what influenced the decision to detain. You can't really blame them.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

It's refreshing to see a corporate fat cat brought down. The West today is too afraid to do such a thing, as seen with the global financial crisis, in which not a single banker went to jail and indeed were bailed out by taxpayers so they could continue pocketing their massive bonuses.

Time to hold "the piggies" responsible. This is populism at its finest.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

The penny drops...

Goshn's package would have been clearly known to the Board- otherwise, they're incompetent and shouldn't be there. If he was able to hide any income then their Finance Director should resign immediately, since he would be showing incompetence at not explaining why the books didn't balance and he still signed off on them. And, presumably their Auditors were aware of the situation... otherwise they too should fall. Seriously as if not, they undermine the whole Financial Market.... this situation has far reaching ramifications within Japan, and could potentially bring down the whole Government.

This is a good old fashioned witch hunt- Japanese style, they didn't like Goshn's plans, so had to use some connections and concoct some plan to see him publically removed... unfortunately, due to their inherent incompetence, they now have placed the whole Japanese Judicial system into disrepute - corruption being the first port of call... let's see how far this goes, it's about time for a good old cleanup of the system. Sadly for Goshn he's gone here in Japan, but back in France ? He perhaps has a role there.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

So he basically brought Nissan back from the brink of ruin (which no Japanese CEO seemed able to do) but is now claimed to have been so absurdly stupid as to under-declare his salary, which he knows the company is obligated to report directly to the tax office? There is more to this story than meets the eye. I also seriously doubt he does his own tax, no doubt it is prepared by the company itself, as is done for all regular employees in Japan.

Seeing as the police have now decided to "detain" him another 10 days without officially charging him, he clearly hasn't admitted anything to them. Interesting that this may backfire on Nissan both with charges, and given that Renault are not going to do anything without strong hard evidence.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

RENAULT, a company that is literally just a parasite on Nissan's success.

Talk about fake news, Renault owns 43% of Nissan, Nissan want bankrupt twice and w/o Ghosn there would have been no Nissan today.

This Saikawa is the lead of the snitch party, and is the one using the public prosecutor office (PPO) route to get rid of Ghosn, let's hope the PPO realize that they are being used as a tool for this internal coup d'etat.

According to the Financial Times, Ghosn was working on a merger of the two carmakers

And that's the reason, time for Reanult to move out of this alliance..just drop the shares and watch the magic..

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What Ghosn would gain from having his income understated is far from clear. This is not like cheating on your income tax. Two possible answers:

(1) to make it look like he was getting a smaller pay package because of criticism within Nissan and Japan;

(2) to limit criticism in France that he was being paid too much.

Several news reports have said that there was criticism within France that he was getting paid too much and when Macron came into office Ghosn was required to take a steep pay cut in order to continue in his position.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ghosn has been stabbed in the back by those he trusted, rule number one in Japan, do not trust your boss, employees or co-workers as they will nail you to the floor if you become too big for your boots.

Ghosn is a fall guy, the blame resides with the auditors and the accounts department.... this whole thing has been engineered, Machiavellian tactics by Ghosns 'Japanese friends' it seems.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is kind of hillarious and ludicrous to think that a manager that might not even be able to speak or read Japanese could take company funds unnoticed at a Japanese company located in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If he hasn't been charged, how can he have been arrested?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Foreign press are reporting that it was another foreign exec no longer employed by Nissan who dimed him.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The only thing bothering Japanese is that French apply the justice model "innocent until proven guilty".

Detaining for long time a guy who changed Japanese world of business when Japan was 2nd economy in the world has to be justified.

By the way, France can be very harsh with money stealing bosses (ex. : B. TAPIE) so playing that game is risky. Goshn must be fairly judged.

So far, clues show some Nissan executives to be involved in a plot.

No one should be detained for jealousy and being greedy within the law, eve if I loathe at that kind of behaviour.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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