Nissan Motors filed a lawsuit this week in Japan, seeking the sum of $90 million from Carlos Ghosn, who fled the country before his trial on charges of financial misconduct in December 2019.
The company says 10 billion yen, equivalent to 90 million USD, would cover the monetary damages Mr. Ghosn “inflicted on the company” through his financial misconduct, abuse of funds, and fraud.
Nissan said in an official statement that it expects the amount might be subject to increase as it sought to recover the fines paid to the Japanese Financial Services Agency and other penalties also associated with Mr. Ghosn’s alleged misconduct.
As widely known to the public, Mr. Ghosn has repeatedly denied all charges, alleging that the trial against him was part of a conspiracy.
In an emailed statement, a spokesman of Nissan told The New York Times: “Nissan’s maneuvers continue. Mr. Ghosn’s lawyers will react on the merits of the case once the content of the claim has been brought to their attention.”
In the past, Mr. Ghosn was celebrated for years as the “rescuer” of Nissan, which he made part of a thriving alliance with Renault of France and, later, Mitsubishi of Japan – a move which ultimately saved the company and its reputation.
But his career came to an abrupt halt approximately one year and a half ago, after he was arrested in Japan. Ever since then, his standing in the business community began to dwindle.
Questions continue to circulate about whether or not Mr. Ghosn left Nissan in good shape. It has currently “slipped into a deep slump,” according to The New York Times, with revenue and profit falling around the world.
Sales in one of Nissan’s largest markets, the United States, fell ten percent in 2019 even as global auto sales were near record levels.
Mr. Ghosn has publically confirmed his innocence to the media and the business community alike, publicly speaking against what he says is a “vast conspiracy” to take him down.
“The revival of Nissan, nobody’s going to take it from me,” he told The New York Times in a January 2020 interview. Ghosn also spoke out in the aforementioned interview about the unjust Japanese legal system and the “need” for him to escape.