The Yomiuri ShimbunA table noting the amount of actual annual executive remuneration of former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn, including amounts not stated in the company’s securities reports, has been discovered, with Ghosn making modifications to the document himself, according to sources close to the matter.
The special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office believes that Ghosn was deeply involved in the process of deciding the amount of his remuneration and initiated the doctoring of Nissan’s securities reports.
Following the new rules on the disclosure of executives’ remuneration that started from the business year ending March 2010, Ghosn, 64, according to sources, wanted to avoid criticism of his high pay, so he decided to shift part of about ¥2 billion (about $17.7 million) of his remuneration to be received after he stepped down.
To make the company’s payment to him certain, Ghosn is said to have instructed Nissan officials including former Representative Director Greg Kelly, 62, to write a memorandum every year stating the amount of his remuneration and that he would receive it after retiring from his post.
Besides the memos, there are several other kinds of documents that make note of the “back-loaded payment,” including a table compiling the total amount of remuneration each year as well as the accumulated amount of remuneration to be paid after his retirement.
The table reportedly contained additions and modifications of contents in Ghosn’s handwriting. He apparently penned those changes himself in order to later instruct Kelly and the others to reflect the changes, the sources said.
In hands of investigative squad
The investigative squad has already obtained the table, which was kept by Nissan. Since traces of modifications were found in the table, the squad has regarded this as crucial evidence to show that Ghosn was active in compiling the table and was aware of the falsification of the company’s reports.
Ghosn has been arrested on suspicion of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law by understating his remuneration by about ¥5 billion from the business year ending March 2011 to that ending March 2015, in collusion with Kelly.
Ghosn was also suspected of not stating part of his remuneration in the business year ending March 2010, as well as from that ending March 2016 to that ending March 2018. In total, the amount of his remuneration that was not stated in Nissan’s securities reports is believed to be about ¥9.5 billion over the nine years.
Both Ghosn and Kelly reportedly have told investigators that the receiving of remuneration after Ghosn’s retirement had not been confirmed and therefore the amounts were not required to be stated in the company’s securities reports.Speech