Nissan faces US$22 mil fine over Ghosn pay

Ghosn is free on bail as he prepares for a trial set to start next year. (AFP pic)

TOKYO: Nissan Motor Co is set to be fined 2.4 billion yen (US$22 million) for underreporting former chairman Carlos Ghosn’s compensation, Japan’s securities regulators said.

The Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission made the recommendation just over one year after Ghosn’s arrest, which shocked the auto industry and triggered turmoil at the Japanese automaker and its alliance partner, Renault SA.

Ghosn, who has denied charges of underreporting income and diverting company money for his own use, is free on bail as he prepares for a trial set to start next year.

Nissan is struggling to chart a path to growth after announcing a plunge in profitability to decade lows and 12,500 job cuts, and replacing top management.

In September, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled with Nissan and Ghosn over claims that they failed to disclose more than US$140 million in pay. Nissan will pay the US regulator US$15 million while Ghosn was hit with a US$1 million penalty as part of the settlement.

The Japanese watchdog claimed Nissan violated the country’s financial instruments law by underreporting remuneration through March 2018. Nissan had asked for the fine to be reduced from an initial 4 billion yen, the Asahi and other newspapers reported.