A former Nissan executive, Greg Kelly, has been found guilty in a Japanese court of helping the automaker’s former chief executive Carlos Ghosn underreport his salary.
Mr Kelly, a 64-year-old US lawyer, was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for three years, after his arrest in November 2018.
The Tokyo District Court on Thursday found Mr. Kelly guilty of falsifying financial records in 2017, which allegedly allowed Mr. Ghosn to underreport his compensation in the future. The court acquitted the defendant of other charges he faced, including falsifying similar statements between 2011 and 2016.
The court found Nissan, Japan’s third-largest automaker, guilty of submitting inaccurate financial statements from 2011 to 2017. The Yokohama-based company was ordered to pay fines of 200 million yen (£1.3 million sterling).
Announcing the decision, the chief justice said Mr Kelly had failed to disclose in company documents “the grand total” that Mr Ghosn would receive, which amounted to false reports.
Mr Kelly and his legal team have always said discussions have taken place with key company executives and lawyers over the salary of Mr Ghosn, who is credited with rebuilding a company’s fortunes which was on the verge of collapse when he took office in June 1999. However, no agreement was ever reached and Mr Ghosn was never paid the disputed sum.
Mr Kelly has repeatedly expressed bewilderment at his arrest – and now conviction – over payments that were never made. He insisted that it should have been an internal issue handled internally.
Although a number of Japanese officials are implicated in the scandal, only Mr Kelly has been charged over the financial misdeeds, with Mr Ghosn escaping the country in December 2019 concealed in a case for a large loudspeaker from music that was placed aboard a private jet. Two American nationals who assisted in this escape are currently serving prison sentences in Japan.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-03 11:24:00