Former Nissan Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn has continued to deny allegations of financial misconduct against him, saying he could not stand to make a false confession as doing so would harm his reputation, sources close to the matter said Monday.
The 64-year-old, who is known for rescuing Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy in the 1990s, was arrested last month for allegedly understating his compensation, and subsequently ousted as chairman of the automaker.
He is suspected of breaching the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act by reporting only 5 billion yen of his 10 billion yen compensation during the five years through March 2015.
Ghosn’s annual compensation had been set at around 2 billion yen, but he is charged with failing to report around half of the amount, which he was to receive after he stepped down.
The charismatic automotive industry figure has told prosecutors that it was unnecessary to report some of his remuneration as the payment had yet to be settled, according to different sources with knowledge of the investigation.
He was also quoted as saying that the remaining remuneration he was planning to receive was just an amount he had hoped to receive.
According to the sources, Ghosn said he consulted with his close aide, Greg Kelly, 62, a former Nissan representative director who was arrested along with Ghosn for alleged conspiracy, and was told by Kelly that it was legal even if he did not report the post-retirement payment.
The post-retirement compensation that went unreported for eight years through March 2018 is believed to have totaled more than 8 billion yen. The prosecutors are also considering charging Ghosn regarding 3 billion yen he failed to disclose during the three years through March this year.
Ghosn and Kelly were arrested Nov 19 and their detention period will expire Monday next week.