Nissan and ex-CEO pay $16m to settle SEC fraud charges

Nissan has paid $15m (£12m), and its former CEO Carlos Ghosn has paid $1m and been given a 10-year company officer ban, to settle fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to failure to disclose over $140m of pay and benefits

The US regulator said that from 2004, Nissan’s board delegated to Ghosn the authority to set individual director and executive compensation levels, including his own. From 2009 until his arrest in Tokyo in November 2018, Ghosn, with substantial assistance from another former Nissan director, Greg Kelly, and subordinates at Nissan, engaged in a scheme to conceal more than $90m of compensation from public disclosure, while also taking steps to increase Ghosn’s retirement allowance by more than $50m.

Each year, Ghosn fixed a total amount of compensation for himself, with a certain amount paid and disclosed and an additional amount that was unpaid and undisclosed. Ghosn and his subordinates, including Kelly, created various ways to structure payment of the undisclosed compensation after Ghosn’s retirement, such as entering into secret contracts, backdating letters to grant him interests in Nissan’s long term incentive plan, and changing the calculation of his pension allowance to provide more than $50m in additional benefits.

Source / More : Accountancy Daily

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