Ghosn’s income under-reporting ‘may reach $71 million’

This file photo taken on September 15, 2017 shows Renault-Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn gesturing as he addresses a press conference in Paris. (File/AFP)
Updated 23 November 2018
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Ghosn’s income under-reporting ‘may reach $71 million’

  • The Brazil-born tycoon is now reportedly set to face a new charge from prosecutors
  • Prosecutors arrested Ghosn, accusing him of understating his income

TOKYO: Nissan’s disgraced former chairman Carlos Ghosn under-reported his income by a total of $71 million — much more than initially suspected — Japanese media reported Friday.
The Brazil-born tycoon is now reportedly set to face a new charge from prosecutors, after he was sacked as Nissan chairman Thursday to top a spectacular fall from grace for the once-revered boss whose fall has stunned the business world.
Prosecutors arrested Ghosn Monday, accusing him and fellow executive Greg Kelly of understating the former chairman’s income by around five billion yen ($44 million) between June 2011 and June 2015.
But Ghosn is now suspected of under-reporting his income by another three billion yen for the following three fiscal years, the Asahi Shimbun and the Nikkei business daily reported.
Prosecutors are now planing to re-arrest him on charges of understating his income by a total of eight billion yen ($71 million) since June 2011, the Asahi said.
Immediate confirmation of the reports was not available.
Under Japanese law, suspects in jail can face additional arrest warrants, which can impose heavier charges.
Ghosn is also suspected of failing to report a profit of four billion yen through stock appreciation rights — a method for firms to give management a bonus on strong earnings, the Nikkei said.
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.
Deputy chief prosecutor Shin Kukimoto said the Ghosn case is “one of the most serious types of crime” under Japan’s Financial Instruments Act, and Ghosn could face a 10-year prison sentence.
His ouster is an astonishing turnaround for a titan of the auto sector who revived the Japanese brand and forged an alliance with France’s Renault as well as domestic rival Mitsubishi Motors.
The French and Japanese finance ministers reiterated their “strong support” for the alliance at a meeting in Paris on Thursday.
In a joint statement, Bruno Le Maire and Hiroshige Seko said they both wanted “to maintain this winning cooperation.”
Asked about the fate of the alliance, Seko told reporters in Paris: “It is important for people concerned to deal with it after they agree and fully understand.”


Trump picks ambassador to Canada for UN post

U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft takes part in a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Trudeau's office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, November 3, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 31 min 47 sec ago
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Trump picks ambassador to Canada for UN post

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump announced Friday that he has selected Kelly Craft, the US ambassador to Canada, as his nominee to serve as the next US ambassador to the United Nations.
Trump said in a pair of tweets that Craft “has done an outstanding job representing our Nation” and he has “no doubt that, under her leadership, our Country will be represented at the highest level.”
Two people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters had told The Associated Press that Trump had been advised that Craft’s confirmation would be the smoothest of the three candidates he had been considering to fill the job last held by Nikki Haley.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, had backed Craft for the post, and she also has the support of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, the people said. Trump’s first pick to replace Haley, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, withdrew over the weekend.
Craft, a Kentucky native, was a member of the US delegation to the UN General Assembly under President George W. Bush’s administration. She is also friends with McConnell’s wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and thanked Chao for her “longtime friendship and support” at her swearing-in as ambassador.
As US ambassador to Canada, she played a role in facilitating the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, a revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trump had also considered US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and former US Senate candidate John James of Michigan for the post.
Nauert’s withdrawal from consideration came amid a push within the administration to fill the position, given a pressing array of foreign policy concerns in which the United Nations, particularly the UN Security Council, is likely to play a significant role. From Afghanistan to Venezuela, the administration has pressing concerns that involve the world body, and officials said there had been impatience with the delays on Nauert’s formal nomination.
Trump said Dec. 7 that he would pick the former Fox News anchor and State Department spokeswoman for the UN job, but her nomination was never formalized. Notwithstanding other concerns that may have arisen during her confirmation, Nauert’s nomination had languished in part due to the 35-day government shutdown that began Dec. 22 and interrupted key parts of the vetting process. Nauert cited family considerations in withdrawing from the post.
With Nauert out of the running, officials said Pompeo had been keen on Craft to fill the position. Although Pompeo would like to see the job filled, the vacancy has created an opportunity for him and others to take on a more active role in UN diplomacy. On Thursday, for example, Pompeo was in New York to meet with UN chief Antonio Guterres.
Trump has demoted the UN position to sub-Cabinet rank, in a move backed by both Bolton and Pompeo, according to three other officials. Grenell had suggested he wasn’t interested in a non-Cabinet role. The officials were not authorized to discuss internal personnel deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Haley had been a member of the Cabinet and had clashed repeatedly with former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and others during the administration’s first 14 months. Bolton was not a Cabinet member when he served as UN ambassador in President George W. Bush’s administration, and neither he nor Pompeo is eager to see a potential challenge to their foreign policy leadership in White House situation room meetings, according to the officials.
Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, said Craft was appointed ambassador to Canada because of her financial contributions to the Trump campaign, but said that’s not unusual as past ambassadors have also contributed to presidents who have appointed them.
“I think Ottawa has regarded Craft as a light weight, partly because of her background and partly because the sense is that Trump, unlike his predecessors, doesn’t listen to his ambassadors or care what they think,” Wiseman said.
Craft is married to billionaire coal-mining executive Joe Craft, and they are major Republican donors.
Craft has been ambassador during a low point in relations. Last year Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weak and dishonest, words that shocked Canadians.