June 4, 2019 / 6:19 PM / 5 months ago

Renault's board triggers process to recover Ghosn's suspect expenses

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French car manufacturer Renault is seen at a dealership of the company in Illkirch-Graffenstaden near Strasbourg, France, January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

PARIS (Reuters) - Renault’s board triggered on Tuesday a process to recover 11 million euros ($12.4 million) in Carlos Ghosn’s suspect expenses when he chaired the alliance between the French carmaker and its Japanese counterpart Nissan.

Ghosn is facing financial misconduct charges, which he denies. He was freed in April from jail in Japan on a $4.5 million bail.

Renault’s board members were asking the group’s representatives to liaise with counterparts at Nissan to explore legal action to recover sums paid for by the Dutch jointly-owned subsidiary Renault-Nissan BV, the board said in a statement after reviewing results of a joint audit mission with Nissan.

The suspect expenses amount to about 11 million euros, which include air travel fees, gifts to non-profit organizations and “certain other expenses incurred for Mr. Ghosn,” Renault’s board said.

Ghosn has been indicted four times in Japan, twice on charges that he failed to disclose a portion of his earnings to authorities and twice for aggravated breach of trust.

The latter included an allegation that he received $5 million in payments from a Nissan dealership in Oman after authorizing incentive payments to it from Nissan.

Ghosn has said he is the victim of a boardroom coup, accusing “backstabbing” former colleagues of conspiring to oust him as Nissan chairman.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Edmund Blair

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