crime

Ghosn's income under-reporting 'may reach $71 million'

55 Comments
By ERIC PIERMONT

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Separately, the Kyodo news agency has reported that Nissan had paid $100,000 a year since 2002 to Ghosn's sister who had no record of doing advisory work for the group.

Right, and the new management in Ghosn's place had no idea in the world that they were paying this kind of cash to a "non" employee?

Seems to me that Nissan was in bed with Ghosn all along and played along with his reportedly "lavish" lifestyle until they got what they wanted, the company back on it's feet and profitable!

Those knives used to stab Ghosn in the back may just come back to haunt these folks too!

18 ( +22 / -4 )

All of his books were handled by accountants. He probably didn't even sign the forms as his lawyers had legal proxy to sign documents on his behalf.

I don't think he had any idea how much tax he was or wasn't paying.

To be honest, I don't even know how much tax I pay, some lady in the office handles all that.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

To be honest, I don't even know how much tax I pay, some lady in the office handles all that.

You aren't the only one! I am willing to bet that the overwhelming majority of people at Nissan have no idea either and probably are scratching their own heads wondering wtf was going on as well!

The most common reason I have heard from my coworkers as an explanation has been the talk about "foreign" income and not income from here in Japan!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Where is this information coming from?

It seems very detrimental.

Any non disclosure of taxes should be proven and then Ghosn should be fined.

Why prison?

And don’t company employees as Ghosn was,have their companies report their income?

The 71 million figure seems outrageous.....

7 ( +10 / -3 )

One must ask the question. How did Nissan's Board of Directors not know about this.

If Ghosn is guilty of a crime of course he should be held accountable however Nissan's Board of Directors need to be called to the carpet on this as well.

It is becoming clear this is about much more than whether or not Ghosn is guilty of anything (and again if he is he should be held accountable)

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This guy wasn't a rogue, Nissan knew exactly what he was doing and helped him hide it.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

EVERY CEO DOES THIS

5 ( +7 / -2 )

And I don't believe that nobody at Nissan was aware of what was going on. Even these senior executives who are saying that they are "appalled".

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"Immediate confirmation of the reports was not available."

Then why run the article - it seems completely irresponsible journalistic practice. If it turns out to be wrong, you could find yourselves in court.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No matter how many years pass, the modus operandi is the same.

Police arrest a suspect and hold them indefinitely.

They or those in the prosecutor's office then leak information to their favored reporters to indict and convict the suspect in public.

Meanwhile, the suspect is held incommunicado and is unable to defend themselves.

It's appalling and it lends itself to abuse.

Anyone remember the poor guy who was virtually convicted of the Matsumoto sarin jiken by the police.... until it turned out that it was a trial run by Aum Shinrikyo?!

Shameful!!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The charges appear to be based on Ghosn's income being under reported in the company report, not tax evasion, although I'm sure they will find something to pin on him. Repeated re-arrests on the same charge, with only the period of the under-reporting being changed seems to me to be abuse of process, but that is standard practice in the Japanese "justice" system.

Meanwhile, why hasn't anyone asked Saikawa when he first knew of the under-reporting and why he didn't act sooner?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yubaru, you never run a big business like Nissan, did you ? Nissan will survive if it transforms itself, and the best way to do it is to align itself with companies with successful record. Both Toyota and Honda are qualified in this regard.

Akie I doubt if you ran one either, in fact if you did, I think you'd be in the same shoes as Ghosn!

Nissan could't "transform" itself before Ghosn, so what makes you think it can now? If you think Toyota or Honda wants to sink itself into red ink you got a another thing coming!

Not to mention the fact that you are already killing them off!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

OK, now that they’ve all but killed the goose that laid the golden eggs, lets see what happens to Nissan & co.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Watershed moment for Japan, they Japan Inc have planted a red flag in the sand, message...our way or the highway. Sell you OUR goods but don't dare to become involved in OUR system....Shabu Shabu anyone.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

ScroteToday 12:26 pm JST

The charges appear to be based on Ghosn's income being under reported in the company report, not tax evasion,

This really does not make sense. If he paid right amount based on true amount he had received then the annual report will publish the right amount or it will be miss representation in which the STE will file a suit.

As for the board members not knowing the amount, it could happen since the board does not go through the company account details with a fine comb of each and every entry written within the account book.

NO COMPANY does.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japanese medias are reporting all about money scandals of Ghosn inciting jealousy of people. They do not talk much about the uncertain future of Nissan that lost the extraordinary manager. Nissan cannot survive without global development. I wonder Japanese managers can perform it as good as Ghosn. Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is involved in this affair, I think. They did not want Nissan would be taken over by Renault. I wish this will not sour our relation with France.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"I don't think he had any idea how much tax he was or wasn't paying.

To be honest, I don't even know how much tax I pay, some lady in the office handles all that."

So what?!

You don't have to. That's the Accountant's job; if he's hired to employ his skill, then it becomes his duty to exercise reasonable skill and care as a professional accountant.

Carlos G is a Director; he does not have to know accountancy. However, ultimately if taxes are unreported, the book will be thrown at him.

To sum up, an Accountant is an agent of the Company; the Company has a separate personality (a legal person on its right) able to sue/be sued.

Liability for Accountant's misdeeds reverts back to the Company Board of Directors; Carlos G is a member of Nissan's board.

The Board can remove a Director at any time; tax dodging is a gross misconduct which warrants summary dismissal and, disqualification, fine(s) and prison.

Disclaimer: Knowledge acquired doing a real Law Degree, and then actual work; not obtained on Wiki.

Btw, Carlos is TOTALLY INNOCENT of the charges; after all foreigners never commit fraud!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

 Nissan is a Japanese company and should form alliance with Toyota and Honda.

Do you have any idea how ridiculous this sounds?

Just "because" it's a Japanese company does not make it anything "special" .

If Nissan sinks into the red again, in the near future, you can point to this coup as the reason. These executives that stabbed Ghosn in the back may truly regret this move.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hown can they not know his salary for the past 20 or so years on a public trading company...

Auditors would see any internal mishaps, where do they fit into this puzzle?

Fake News is in all countries sadly..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

His family and Kellys family should get an international lawyer involved, most likely their domesticated lawyers are just hanko stamp pushers and won't do anything.

Considering its international companies any how..

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I wonder Japanese managers can perform it as good as Ghosn. 

Management is important, but ultimately it comes down to design and engineering, the realm of engineers. Most of whom are woefully underpaid. I wonder how they feel about the fact that the amount of money Ghosn dodged in taxes over the last few years exceeds what they'll make in their lifetime.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Mr Ghosn wasn’t an ordinary Nissan employee. It's highly unlikely that he had no idea how much taxes he was paying. He knew what he was doing and he must face the consequences, though my bet is he will probably be deported for some kind of diplomatic and political reasons before being indicted.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How about 2016 - 2018???? It seems same understatement. Prosecutors would also investigate this sooner or later.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thats some lazy photoshopping of his forehead there. But I guess it does make him kind of look like general palpatine

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Police usually didn't take such many months to arrest.

Days-consuming police investigation always makes leaks somehow. They must have investigated this case very very carefully after they got information from whistle-blower(s). If Ghosn heard it from Kelly, his jet would not have landed at the airport and then flown back to France quickly to avoid arrest. Police made it to arrest him at the airport. It seems good job.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Until the matter goes to court the public won't know exactly what it's all about. In the meantime,while he is doing it hard in the jail,perhaps those who are sympathetic to his plight could visit him and take him gifts of whatever it is that he misses most. The luxurious life that he would have become accustomed to would be in stark contrast to the presumably spartan existance that he would be leading now, especially the reported basic Japanese food that prisoners get.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The police with their unlimited power, will hold him for eternity (Literally) without Ghosn even being convicted of anything.

The prosecutors will just make new charges every 20 days and they'll rearrest him inside the police station over and over and over again.

He could be in jail for years without actually being tried for the crimes he's accused of.

Of course, if he just puts his prints on that confession statement, it'll all be over - til they ship him to prison. Then deportation, if his jail sentence does not exceed his life span that is.

I wonder if a millionaire like Ghosn can use his money to force change on the corrupt judicial system of Japan.

I have a strong feeling that his tax evasion was done legally and that the authorities have moved the goalposts with greased up palms.

This does not send a good message to foreign investors either.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

EVERY CEO DOES THIS

Of course, surely in your country! No doubt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The tax he didn’t pay could give housing to 70000 homeless people for a year.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Looks like the prosecution are scrambling to slam dunk, extra charges. Remember they had the whistle blower handing them the case? Now still haven't charged him. That's embarrassing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Accomplices (executives and managers involved with this his crime) would be arrested soon or later, except whistle-blowers. They would get much reduction of charges of crime. This is a plea bargaining of second time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Walking by Nissan hq right now, seems fewer people than usual. Recently had the chance to drive Nissan rentals in the States and really like them. My next car likely to be a Honda, Nissan or Subaru.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kenji FujimoriToday 12:42 pm JST

Err Google it and it's corporate law genius..

When did tax evasion become corporate law might I ask?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyone remember the poor guy who was virtually convicted of the Matsumoto sarin jiken by the police.... until it turned out that it was a trial run by Aum Shinrikyo?!

That's why prosecutor police took 5-6 months for enough investigations before Ghosn was arrested because police worried about false accusation. Police usually didn't take such many months to arrest. They have enough clear forensic evidences to be able to take this case to court and have much confidence to be able to win it. Prosecutors would just need accomplices arrested to make them confess what Ghosn has done for years.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Medieval justice system, detained in a concrete box no heating no air con, last summer people died? He hasn't confessed as far as we know because no information. New charges which would suggest the original ones were flimsy. He may or may not be the global fiend stroking a shaved Chiwawa. The best you can say is he is being treated the same as someone who stole ¥10 yen. Both are being mentally tourtured for the satisfaction of......who? Can't prove the case then why arrest him? The Osaka school is another example of Medieval justice. The perpetrators were too big to be involved. Just open a vet college you will be OK.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

 Police usually didn't take such many months to arrest.

Ummm...they sure do here when they dont have evidence or do not have the confidence to get a signed confession!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Audit all CEOs of top companies in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder If these current "under reporting" loopholes, are now being worked on by hordes of accountants to find the next way to under-report without drawing attention....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As the head of several Global Companies, whatever he does is subject to 24x7 scrutiny.

Sadly, for some, such as myself, even though I am subjected to 24x6 on demand... I won't get the same level of pay as him. I'm just thankful, that I have work. I guess, we aren't all made up to be world leaders... but the question is, when you take one down under false pretenses... who, should be accountable, or who even should we place any form of trust in ?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Its a figure head payment, made up of shares,property, cars & cash.

Just as Nissan is 50% bigger than Renault, so his position would have to receive 50% more from Nissan, and what ever percentage from Mitsubishi, its like saying the Queens paid too much.

Its just a status payment, you won't break him or find out more keeping him incommunicado.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If Nissan sinks into the red again, in the near future, you can point to this coup as the reason. 

Nissan problems started already. Renault's too. So what you call "a coup" is not the reason. The decisions of management in last decade is more likely to have played a role.

Would he be innocent in France?

He is not tried yet. Wait. You ask if he also cheated French taxes ? It's possible, I am sure French tax office is rechecking his payments now. If your question is whether France would arrest him and send him back to Japan to get judged ; no, it's not possible to extradite nationals (see Roman Polanski).

Someone says every CEO does this in France.

Certainly not. If they do and get caught, they get prosecuted... at some point. Check Cahuzac affair, the guy had a business that would ask customers to pay abroad so he could avoid taxes, he was convicted. There was  Loïk Le Floch-Prigent, a famous CEO like Ghosn, he used company money for his personal use (and did a few other things), he ended up with 5 yrs of jail.  Here Ghosn risks 10 yrs, so the rate seems similar in both countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the rich of the world would only pay their fair share of taxes (especially in developing countries many rich people pay practically no taxes), our world would be a very different place; with the huge sums of extra revenue the plight of the world's suffering poor could be alleviated. Draconian punishment for egregious tax evaders is the only deterrent. No mercy should be shown.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

When he started in Nissan, he should of fired ALL the old dinosaur management of Nissan, with younger more ambitious people.

Its normal for any new CEO to fire all old management, so the new folks can be loyal and have a new vision. Why did he groom mama boy Saikawa..

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

zones2surfToday 12:05 pm JST

No matter how many years pass, the modus operandi is the same.

Police arrest a suspect and hold them indefinitely

In case you didn't know there is a ceiling to the amount of days the police can detain a suspect at the detention center for 10 days while the prosecutor builds a criminal case against the suspect after that the prosecutor is required to file an appeal to the judge for another 10 days based on the complexity of the case in which the defense lawyer can file a plea against the appeal. Basically it's the same around the world.

If the suspect is prosecuted with formal charges then the court can detain the suspect up to two months in which the defendant can be freed from the detention center if the judge approves bail.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Medieval justice system, detained in a concrete box no heating no air con,

If you don't like no heating no con, go to China,  where you'd get death penalty right away. 

New charges which would suggest the original ones were flimsy.

No, it only suggests he committed multiple crimes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Medieval justice system, detained in a concrete box no heating no air con, last summer people died?

.... and Japanese education teaches humanities!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Free  Carlos Ghosn !!!!!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Some posters say Ghosn is innocent because he just signed on every paper that office lady just gave him, or seem to try to praise him like he did not do anything wrong as top leader. No doubt what he did is clear crime. If Nissan were Renault and Renault were Nissan like same situation, and Nissan sent a jpn executive just like Ghosn to Renault to save the company, if he understated his income/tax, if he used up as Renault's much money/fund as he wanted there personally in secret. Would he be innocent in France? Someone says every CEO does this in France.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Kenji FujimoriToday 11:47 am JST

His family and Kellys family should get an international lawyer involved, most likely their domesticated lawyers are just hanko stamp pushers and won't do anything.

I doubt there are any international lawyers that specializes in Japanese criminal law so hiring one is just a waste of money.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Meanwhile, why hasn't anyone asked Saikawa when he first knew of the under-reporting and why he didn't act sooner?

Because if they "busted" him after a year the numbers involved would be a LOT lower, fines & interest at LOT lower, less chance of winning etc

Tax authorities here go after targets they know are slam dunks & they can get back MORE $$$ than it co$t$ to investigate a case, so they are going to want to go back at least 5yrs typically

And this case is HUGE because a French company rescued the J-company & NOW Japan wants to "rectify" that!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So far no clue.

The culprit or his lawyer is not able to speak and tell their point of view. It is torture.

Goshn or another, same medieval justice.

In France, 100% of the people I speak are wishing the guy to fall IF HE IS GUILTY, not because Nissan said he was.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

so they are going to want to go back at least 5yrs typically

They can go back up to 5yrs because of the tax law.  HIs under-reporting would reach much bigger if the law allowed it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I don't care about his tax, I care about what did he do to deserve the payment ?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Nissan should kill all the geese stealing golden eggs. Nissan is a Japanese company and should form alliance with Toyota and Honda.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Yubaru, you never run a big business like Nissan, did you ? Nissan will survive if it transforms itself, and the best way to do it is to align itself with companies with successful record. Both Toyota and Honda are qualified in this regard.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

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