Three weeks after he was arrested in a Tokyo airport, Carlos Ghosn will soon be officially charged. Bloomberg has learned from sources that Ghosn will appear in Japanese court as soon as Monday to be indicted on various financial charges. Japanese prosecutors have to either charge Ghosn or arrest him new charges if they don't want to release him.
Sources also tell Bloomberg that prosecutors are planning to bring new charges against Ghosn. While not public, sources believe it may relate to Ghosn under-reporting his income for the past three fiscal years.
The Tokyo prosecutors’ office declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Nissan is facing its own set of issues from Ghosn's arrest. The Nikkei Asian Review is reporting that prosecutors will file charges against the company for making false statements on securities reports. This is due to Ghosn and Greg Kelly, a former member of Nissan's board of directors for under-reporting salaries in five annual reports that go through the fiscal year that ended in March 2015. In Japan, a company can be held accountable for employees misstating financial information and not stopping it - hence why Nissan is getting charged.
A source told Automotive News that Nissan had been "preparing for the possibility of charges" since allegations against the two men came out last month.
It appears that the relationship between Nissan and Renault is taking hit. Unlike Nissan and Mitsubishi which have outed Ghosn as chairman, Renault is keeping him as chairman and CEO for the time being. The French automaker has named an interim CEO and the duties of chairman are being performed by a director.
Why hasn't Renault followed Nissan and Mitsubishi? According to a Renault spokesman, Nissan hasn't provided evidence that the board has asked for in their internal probe. He declined to comment any further. Sources at the automaker give a clearer view. Executives at Renault are quite suspicious of Nissan’s motives with Ghosn. The French automaker has asked for proof from Nissan concerning the allegations against Ghosn. Nissan offered a presentation that summarized the evidence, but Renault passed, asking for the "presence of lawyers and the full report on the allegations."
Renault has good reason to be suspicious of Nissan considering the odd arrangement of their alliance. Renault is the largest shareholder in Nissan and has voting rights. But Nissan doesn't have any voting rights at Renault due in part to the French government being the lead shareholder. Nissan has been trying to balance this relationship, "but its demands have been stonewalled by Renault and the French state." It should also be noted that Ghosn had been pushing for a possible merger between the two - something Renault wanted but Nissan didn't.