>> Automaker Nissan has broadened its investigation into former chairman Carlos Ghosn to include dealings that took place in the US, India, and Latin America. That's according to three Reuters sources with knowledge of the inquiry. In one part of the probe, the company is looking into calls made in the US by José Muñoz, who led Nissan's North American operations for four years, up to 2018.
Reuters sources said Muñoz, who is considered within the industry as close to Ghosn, had been, quote, stonewalling the investigation. The sources described him as a person of interest in the probe but also said it wasn't clear if Muñoz would be actually accused of any wrongdoing. And on Saturday a Nissan's spokesperson confirmed that Muñoz had resigned from the firm where he had currently been heading up Nissan's China operations.
Muñoz did not reply to Reuters' request for comment, and one of Ghosn's legal team members said in an emailed comment that they were unaware of the matter. One source told Reuters that some of the questions put to Muñoz relate to dealer franchise rights, and others relate to contracts with parts and service suppliers that he approved when running Nissan's US operations.
Reuters also understands Nissan's probe is looking into Ghosn's role in calls on dealer franchise decisions in other countries including India and the possibility of outsized payments for bodyguard services in Brazil. Before his arrest in November, Ghosn was one of the most celebrated executives in the auto industry, widely credited with saving Nissan from bankruptcy.
Ghosn has been charged with under-reporting his income and on Friday was also indited on aggravated breach of trust over allegedly shifting investment losses to Nissan temporarily. On Tuesday Ghosn made his first public appearance since his arrest in a Tokyo court, where he declared his innocence and said he had never received any undisclosed income.