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Nissan files $90M civil suit against Ghosn for fraud damages

Nissan files $90M civil suit against Ghosn for fraud damages
Nissan has filed a $90 million lawsuit against former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who now lives beyond the reach of prosecutors in Lebanon. File Photo by Nabil Mounzer/EPA-EFE

Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Automaker Nissan announced Wednesday it has filed a $90 million civil lawsuit against former executive Carlos Ghosn in Japan, saying it is owed monetary damages from suspected fraud and misconduct while he was chairman.

The suit is the latest fight between the Japanese auto giant and its fugitive former executive who escaped Japan while on bond and is now living in Lebanon.

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Nissan said it is owed for "fraudulent payments" made to or from Ghosn, including the use of overseas residential property without paying rent, private use of corporate jets, payments to his sister and payments to his personal lawyer in Lebanon.

The company also is asking for costs related to its internal investigation of Ghosn, along with legal and regulatory costs in Japan, the United States, the Netherlands and other countries.

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"The financial damages claimed by Nissan are linked to Ghosn's breach of fiduciary duty as a company director and his misappropriation of Nissan's resources and assets," Nissan said in a statement.

"The size of the damages claim is expected to increase in future as Nissan seeks to recover fines to be paid to the Japanese Financial Services Agency and likely penalties imposed on the company in criminal proceedings related to Ghosn's misconduct."

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Ghosn has said he's innocent of wrongdoing and that Nissan and Japanese prosecutors conspired against him.

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"Mr. Ghosn's lawyers will react on the merits of the case once the content of the claim has been brought to their attention," a Ghosn spokesman said.

The former leader of Nissan and French automaker Renault was arrested in Japan in 2018 for financial misconduct and temporarily held in custody. He was later charged with under-reporting his salary at Nissan and personally profiting from company resources. He's also under investigation in France.

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