By on September 23, 2019

On Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Nissan and its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, are on the hook for $16 million in fines. The SEC alleges that the automaker failed to disclose millions of dollars in compensation that the former Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance chairman was due to receive via a 2004 board decision that allowed him to decide the compensation of high-ranking executives — including himself.

Reports from Bloomberg stipulate that Ghosn and subordinates managed to withhold over $90 million in compensation from shareholders since 2009, with the ousted CEO attempting to put another $50 million away for his retirement allowance. 

While the cash has caused problems for other executives, including Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa, the brunt of the media attention remains on Ghosn. Earlier this month, Saikawa fast-tracked his retirement, saying he would repay whatever money he accumulated through questionable bonuses. Meanwhile, Carlos is still awaiting trial on finance-related charges in Japan. He has continued to profess his innocence since his initial arrest last November.

From Bloomberg:

The SEC also reached a settlement with former Nissan director Greg Kelly, who agreed to pay a $100,000 fine over allegations that he helped Ghosn hide pay. Ghosn was barred from serving as a director or officer of a public company for 10 years, while Kelly agreed to a five-year ban. Nissan, Ghosn and Kelly, 63, all resolved the cases without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

Nissan said in a statement that it cooperated fully with the SEC and has “‘promptly implemented remedial acts to prevent recurrence.”

Lawyers for Ghosn and Kelly said the decision to settle with the SEC should have no bearing on separate Japanese cases against their clients.

“Greg is a guy with limited resources” said James Wareham, Kelly’s Washington-based attorney. He said his client settled so that he can better concentrate on the charges he faces in Japan.

Ghosn’s defense team is similarly focused. “We are pleased to have resolved this matter in the U.S. with no findings or admission of wrongdoing,” they said in a statement, adding that their client is still preparing for his court date in Japan.

[Image: FotograFFF/Shutterstock]

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5 Comments on “Ghosn, Nissan Fined $16 Million by SEC...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Gee. No complaints about greedy federal government overreach and unfair fines?

    Amazing.

  • avatar
    retrocrank

    Try these kinds of shenanigans as a citizen with the IRS or other fed agencies, and the result is not a fine which is a fraction of the illegally-obtained benefit. It’s everything, if not some multiple, as repayment, plus fine, plus jail time.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    What! No mention of UAW Shenanigans here! Oh! No UAW!

  • avatar
    ydnas7

    This seems tautological.

    If ghosn is fined for potential to earn after being CEO, does that mean he will be paid for being in prison?

    If he is not paid while being in prison, how can he be fined for misrepresenting earnings he has not earnt, and is unlikely to earn?

    SEC (both USA and Japan) have some bizarre ideas.

  • avatar
    ydnas7

    Again the logic is breathtaking.

    Ghosn won’t get paid because of the fine, but the fine is for misrepresenting income, which will not be income anyway.

    Its like comedy plot for a movie.

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