Ghosn, Nissan Fined $16 Million by SEC

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
ghosn nissan fined 16 million by sec

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]

Join the conversation
2 of 5 comments
  • Ydnas7 Ydnas7 on Sep 23, 2019

    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.

  • Ydnas7 Ydnas7 on Sep 23, 2019

    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.

  • Dukeisduke I tried watching the live reveal last night, but after 15 minutes of jawing by MT+ personalities (and yes, I like Chris Jacobs and Alex Taylor), I turned it off.
  • Paul MBAs gonna MBA.
  • Zipper69 Clearly beyond German thought processes to simply keep A for IC engine and use "E" for all other so you can have a A6 and a E6.
  • Ianw33 It makes me laugh how many complaints i see here in the comments section. Leave it to "car enthusiasts" to be unhappy with the fact that a mainstream auto manufacturer produced a 1K HP car with a warranty that isn't $250K+. can't we just be happy that something crazy/fun exists like this before its gone, even if its not your cup of tea?
  • YellowDuck This is a completely vulgar vehicle. I understand that that is the point, but still...pretty douchey.