Home Business Carlos Ghosn, former all-powerful boss, increasingly surrounded by justice

Carlos Ghosn, former all-powerful boss, increasingly surrounded by justice

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Almost 30 million euros. This is the sum that Carlos Ghosn, the ex-CEO of Renault-Nissan, would have managed to get paid by means of retrocommissions paid by Suhail Bahwan Automobiles (SBA), according to an investigation by the echoespublished on Monday, May 2, 2022.

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Performance bonuses have reportedly been given by Renault-Nissan to SBA, the brand’s distributor in Oman since 2005, in Saudi Arabia since 2010 and in Iran since 2013. In total, the company reportedly received 30.4 million euros in from Nissan and 11.8 million from Renault. Part of these sums, at least 15 million euros, would then have been sent to front companies owned by members of Carlos Ghosn’s entourage.

Money laundering and corruption

The links that unite the former CEO to SBA are already scrutinized by French justice. Indeed, the 68-year-old Franco-Lebanese-Brazilian businessman is the subject of two instructions for abuse of corporate assets, breach of trust, organized money laundering and passive corruption from 2012 to 2017. An international arrest warrant has even was issued by the French courts on April 22, 2022.

→ THE FACTS. Carlos Ghosn: French justice issues international arrest warrant against ex-CEO of Renault-Nissan

The founder of SBA, Suhail Bahwan, his two sons and a former general manager of the distributor are also implicated for abuse of corporate assets and active corruption for the benefit of Carlos Ghosn. Suhail Bahwan, one of his two sons, Ahmed, and the managing director of SBA from 2008 to 2018, Divyendu Kumar, are also accused of misuse of corporate assets and active corruption.

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Villas renovated with Renault money?

The relationship between Carlos Ghosn and Suhail Bahwan is at the heart of the case: the latter notably lent “25 million euros” to the former CEO of Renault-Nissan in the context of “the financial crisis of 2008”a loan whose repayment is not “not asked”according to two sources familiar with the matter.

→ READ. Ghosn case: Rachida Dati indicted for “passive corruption” and “concealment of abuse of power”

These are not the first legal difficulties of Carlos Ghosn. From 2018, he had been at the center of a high-profile financial affair. In November of this year, he was arrested in Japan for misuse of company assets, accused of having used Renault-Nissan property for personal purposes, in particular to renovate villas which belonged to him.

A golden hat retreat!

Japanese justice also suspects him of not having declared 30 million euros in income between 2010 and 2015 and of having underestimated his salary between 2015 and 2016. Carlos Ghosn would also have made a secret agreement with Nissan for a retirement hat of 70 million euros, a sum twice as large as the maximum authorized by Japanese law.

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The businessman is also accused of having made Nissan bear personal losses during the collapse of the bank Lehman Brothers, at the time of the crisis of 2008. According to the American stock market policeman, the SEC, he would also have concealed from investors 140 million euros of his remuneration by Nissan in order to increase his pension.

The good life

Finally, Renault accuses Carlos Ghosn of having made the company pay for two private parties, the cost of which would be equivalent to €50,000, at the Palace of Versailles, in exchange for a sponsorship agreement between the French brand and the establishment managing the castle.

Under house arrest in Tokyo, Carlos Ghosn had managed to fly to Turkey at the end of 2019, hidden in a trunk intended for the transport of musical instruments. From Istanbul, he then joined Beirut, in Lebanon, a country which refuses to extradite its nationals and where he currently resides. For evading Japanese justice, Carlos Ghosn is also targeted by an Interpol warrant.

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