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>> The saga of Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's fallen former boss who's under investigation in Japan for financial crimes, now involves almost $15 million in payments to a Saudi Arabian business man. That's according to two sources within the auto maker. Here's how. On Friday, prosecutors alleged that Ghosn was using company money to cover a massive personal financial loss, over $16 million from investments that went bad.
A person set up a line of credit for Ghosn, according to prosecutors, and then Ghosn directed the $15 million from Nissan to a firm owned by that person over the course of several years. According to the Reuters' sources, that person is named Khaled Al-Juffali. He's a board member of the kingdom's central bank.
The company he owns in question is also in a joint venture with Nissan in the Middle East. The sources also said Ghosn originally attempted to just have Nissan shoulder the burden of his financial loss directly, but that regulators had flagged it as illegal. Representatives of Ghosn and Juffali declined to comment, but a lawyer of Ghosn has reportedly said that the payments were for legitimate business purposes, including handling of Nissan dealerships in Saudi Arabia.
Ghosn, who is a legend in the auto industry, was first arrested in November under allegations of under-reporting his salary, along with another former executive named Greg Kelly.