Nissan ordered to pay 2.4 billion yen fine over Ghosn pay scandal

Kyodo News

Posted at Feb 28 2020 10:48 PM

Japan's financial regulators said Friday they ordered Nissan Motor Co. to pay 2.42 billion yen ($22 million) in fines for underreporting remuneration of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn and other executives for years.

The fine is the second highest imposed by the Financial Services Agency, only behind that of 7.37 billion yen in 2015 on Toshiba Corp. for falsifying financial reports.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission recommended in December that the FSA fine Nissan the amount after filing a criminal complaint against the automaker and Ghosn in 2018.

The securities watchdog alleged they violated the financial instruments law by underreporting Ghosn's pay package by around 9.1 billion yen in the eight years through March 2018.

But the former chairman fled to Lebanon in late December from Japan, where he was on bail awaiting trial on charges of underreporting of remuneration at Nissan and misuse of funds. He has denied all the charges.

The latest fine targets the company's underreported remuneration of its executives for four years through March 2018, for which the statute of limitations has not expired.

Nissan said the same day it will "take the decision sincerely."

The penalty for Nissan was initially expected to reach 4 billion yen, based on the amount of pay left out of submitted documents, but the company asked the watchdog for a reduction in the fine since it reported the matter before an investigation got fully under way. The SESC accepted Nissan's request.