It is claimed that former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn built up a Silicon Valley investment fund with his son by using millions of dollars he received from an executive at a Nissan business partner in Oman, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The criminal charge brought against Ghosn in relation to the investment fund suggests that the former industry executive stole Nissan money by arranging the car manufacturer to pay a Nissan distributor in Oman $10 million before $5 million of this sum was kicked back to him after the funds were moved through a company based in Lebanon.
It is asserted that from May 20, 2015 to September 13, 2018, the managing director of Suhail Bahman Automobiles, the Nissan distributor in Oman, deposited 39.56 million ($44 million) into a company called Good Faith Investments, established by Ghosn’s personal lawyer Fadi Gebran. Investigators are reportedly seeking to determine if some of this money was actually illegally funneled out of Nissan accounts to Ghosn through the investment company.
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It is alleged that Ghosn ran the investment fund with his son and that he failed to inform the Japanese carmaker about the business venture. Those with information about the criminal investigation into Ghosn revealed that he "improperly mixed family ties, personal business interest and the business of the publicly traded companies he led."
People close to Ghosn assert that the Silicon Valley investment fund formed just part of the executive’s various personal holdings that included a wine business in Lebanon, stakes in two Lebanese banks, and various investments in Middle East real estate.
Ghosn has denied all wrongdoing. "The prosecutors, in collaboration with Nissan, have stepped up their campaign to attack Mr. Ghosn and sully his reputation through leaked fabrications, falsehoods and misrepresentations," a statement from a personal spokesman said. "We intend to present our case in a court of law, not the press. Mr. Ghosn is innocent and will be vindicated if given a fair trial."