Carlos Ghosn to Be Flambed by the French

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
carlos ghosn to be flambed by the french

Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan’s former head honcho, will be questioned by investigators in Beirut next month, according to a report from Reuters that appeared in Autoblog. This time it’s not the Japanese applying the pressure, it’s the French.

In a saga that captivated an audience worldwide, the former auto executive, a Lebanese, Brazilian, and French national, was smuggled out of Japan in a musician’s road case by a covert operations professional. A plot you’d find in one of the late John Le Carré’s novels, Ghosn is seen as a cult hero in Lebanon, and has been granted protection by the government.

A team of French investigators will come to Beirut next month to grill Ghosn, a Lebanese justice ministry official said, although no specific date or details of what information the investigators would seek from Ghosn was provided.

In addition Japanese trial he managed to avoid, the 66-year-old Ghosn is experiencing legal challenges in France, including tax evasion, money laundering, fraud, and misuse of company assets while atop the Renault-Nissan alliance.

The Lebanese official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the French investigators would be working alongside their Lebanese counterparts. Information about investigations is supposedly hush-hush under French law, and French judicial officials did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

Ghosn was arrested in Japan in November 2018 on charges of breach of trust, misuse of company assets for personal gains, and violating securities laws by not fully disclosing his compensation. He denied wrongdoing and fled Japan while out on bail awaiting trial. Extradition to Japan is unlikely because Lebanon regards Ghosn as a shining example of business acumen, even once using his likeness on a postage stamp.

Investigations previously opened in France centered on transactions between Renault and a distributor in Oman, payments for private trips and events paid by Renault-Nissan’s Netherlands-based holding company to SBA, a car dealership in Oman, and misuse of company funds for a party for Ghosn at Versailles.

Ghosn’s lawyers have said the payments to SBA were bonuses for having boosted car sales in the Persian Gulf and denied allegations that the funds benefited Ghosn or his family personally. Renault said an internal audit found 11 million euros in questionable expenses at RNBV allegedly linked to Ghosn, including for air travel, personal spending, and donations to nonprofit organizations. Ah, the tales of the rich and infamous continue.

[Images: ©2020 J. Sakurai/TTAC]

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  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Dec 31, 2020

    He's never leaving Lebanon again, although that doesn't sound very harsh...

    • Noble713 Noble713 on Jan 02, 2021

      I've heard good things about Lebanese women, but I wouldn't want to be situated in a client state of Iran, on the border with their arch-enemy Israel.

  • Pig_Iron Pig_Iron on Jan 01, 2021

    ;-)

  • SilverCoupe I am one of those people whose Venn diagram of interests would include Audis and Formula One.I am not so much into Forums, though. I spend enough time just watching the races.
  • Jeff S Definitely and very soon. Build a hybrid pickup and price it in the Maverick price range. Toyota if they can do this soon could grab the No 1 spot from Maverick.
  • MaintenanceCosts Would be a neat car if restored, and a lot of good parts are there. But also a lot of very challenging obstacles, even just from what we can see from the pictures. It's going to be hard to justify a restoration financially.
  • Jeff S Ford was in a slump during this era and its savior was a few years away from being introduced. The 1986 Taurus and Sable saved Ford from bankruptcy and Ford bet the farm on them. Ford was also helped by the 1985 downsize front wheel drive full sized GM cars. Lincoln even spoofed these new full size GM cars in an ad basically showing it was hard to tell the difference between a Cadillac, Buick, and Oldsmobile. This not only helped Lincoln sales but Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria sales. For GM full size buyers that liked the downsized GM full size 77 to 84 they had the Panther based Lincoln Town Cars, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victorias that were an alternative to the new GM front wheel drive full size cars that had many issues when they were introduced in 1985 and many of those issues were not resolved for several years. The Marks were losing popularity after the Mark Vs.
  • SCE to AUX Toyota the follower, as usual. It will be 5 years before such a vehicle is available.I can't think of anything innovative from them since the Gen 1 Prius. Even their mythical solid state battery remains vaporware.They look like pre-2009 General Motors. They could fall hard.
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