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Nissan Won’t Give Up Chasing Carlos Ghosn

Ghosn is being put under pressure by Nissan, alleging that he owes more damages than previously stated.

It’s been nearly four years since the ousting and subsequent arrest of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn. After being smuggled from Japan in a box to a private jet bound for Lebanon, he has avoided arrest in Japan and France by his Lebanese citizenship. Even if he cannot be extradited, Nissan isn’t giving up chasing Ghosn.

Automotive News reports that Nissan is seeking more damages from Ghosn in Japanese civil court, up to $108 million. Nissan is also seeking more money in damages from Greg Kelly, former American director of Nissan and advisor to Ghosn. Nissan believes Kelly to be his accomplice. Japanese prosecutors accused Ghosn and Kelly of hiding $80.5 million in pay from 2010 to 2018. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

Former Nissan executive Greg Kelly. Getty

The increase stems from a class-action lawsuit brought against Nissan and several former executives by U.S. shareholders who claimed they were misled by Ghosn’s compensation. According to AN, supporters of the ousted Nissan executives believe that Nissan moved to settle after evidence supporting the exoneration of Ghosn and Kelly came to light during court proceedings. Nissan settled for $36 million and lumped those costs into the increase in damages it seeks.

Ghosn is being pressured by French authorities with a warrant for his arrest, alleging that Ghosn diverted millions of euros from Renault for his benefit during his tenure as chairman. The exact amount is unclear. Suffice it to say, his difficulties have only increased since his famous escape.

Though Nissan says it wants to move on from the Ghosn scandal, its motions suggest anything but. It still very much wants to nab Ghosn and Kelly. Whether solely for money or public embarrassment is unclear. Renault’s entry into the saga makes things more problematic for the formerly celebrated automotive executive. He is still hiding in Lebanon, away from the reach of Interpol. 

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