It’s going to be a blue Christmas for Carlos Ghosn. A Japanese court ruled Sunday that the former Nissan chairman can be detained for another 10 days without bail.
Ghosn was initially arrested on Nov. 19, and formally charged on Dec. 10 with underreporting his income for five years through March 2015. He was then re-arrested that same day on allegations of underreporting his income for the following three years, which let prosecutors continue to hold and question him in jail. He hasn’t yet been indicted in the second arrest.
Prosecutors accuse Ghosn and top aide Greg Kelly of underreporting Ghosn’s compensation in securities filings from 2010 to 2017 by nearly 10 billion yen ($90 million) and another 4.2 billion yen ($38 million) for the three fiscal years ending in 2018. The maximum punishment in Japan for filing a false financial statement is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to 10 million yen ($89,000). Nissan itself faces a fine of up to 700 million yen ($6.2 million).
Just as his lawyers were going to make a bid for bail, Ghosn was arrested a third time on charges of transferring $16.6 million in personal investment losses to Nissan (NSANY) in 2008. The arrests have shaken the alliance between Nissan and Renault (RNSDF). Deputy CEO Thierry Bolloré’s plea to call a snap shareholder meeting was rejected by a majority of Nissan’s board, the Wall Street Journal reports.
There may be better news for Kelly, a member of Nissan’s board of directors who has also been detained since Nov. 19 on the same first two rounds of accusations as Ghosn.
“There is new hope that he could be released on bail and we’ve been told that we may be able to communicate with him soon,” Dee Kelly, his wife, said in a video. “There is a possibility he could even be released on Christmas Day. We are cautiously optimistic and thankful.”
Kelly said her husband is “a man of honor and integrity” who “holds himself to the highest ethical standards.” She reiterated that he had done nothing wrong and had been “caught up in an international plot by some at Nissan to take control.”