The house that helped trigger Carlos Ghosn’s fall is a rose-colored mansion in one of Beirut’s most expensive neighborhoods.
Its walls were adorned with portraits of car tents, which, with their second wife, had personally monitored $ 15 million purchase and renovation of the property, people say close to Ghosn. Two old sarcophagi, upgraded during the reconstruction, were visible through a glass floor that led to a wine cellar.
Earlier this year, a team of Nissan Motor Co. executives working without Mr. Ghosn’s knowledge discovered that Beirut’s homes and other real estate had actually purchased Nissan, using a network of shell companies. Nissan, as Ghosn has been leading since 1999 in an increasingly uncomfortable alliance with France’s Renault SA, also paid for the building’s renovation according to people familiar with the issue.
The discovery of Nissan’s role in the funding of Ghosns jet-setting lifestyle was ignited by a powder of frustration and dissatisfaction that had long been built and may have diluted a plan by Ghosn to move towards the management of the company itself.
This account, based on interviews with dozens of Nissan veterans and people close to the investigation, shows that allegations of hidden pay and sumptuous expenses on company dime were intertwined with a deep sense of dissatisfaction over Ghana’s long reign over auto manufacturers. Nissan employees had rumored that the Nissan winnings were on Renault, and many feared that Ghosn prepared a takeover of Renault by his larger Japanese partner.
For several months, a group of Nissan executives gathered in information about Mr Ghosn the basis of a November 19 strike against executive and a top helper, Greg Kelly. The group even persuaded Mr Kelly, based in the United States, to fly to Japan the day Ghosn was expected. Managing allowed Japanese prosecutors to quickly arrest both men, since the raid offices and his Tokyo apartment in a few hours, saying people familiar with the events.
When Nissan’s CEO Hiroto Saikawa, who was Ghosn’s hand-picked successor, held a town hall in the headquarters to explain what had happened, the entire staff broke into applause, according to people who participated. The feeling of Ghosn in Nissan had built “like a volcano,” says a person familiar with Nissan’s probe.
It was a quick repentance for a man once revered as Nissan’s savior and one of the automotive industry’s most powerful leaders. After his arrest in November, Nissan quickly took Ghosn as chairman, and Renault, where Ghosn was president and chief executive officer, set up temporary leaders in place. On December 10, Japanese prosecutors charged Ghosn with emphasizing his compensation in Nissan’s financial reports. Renault is now pushing Nissan to call a shareholders meeting to handle “significant risks” for the alliance.
Mr. Ghosn’s Japan-based lawyer did not respond to the request for comments. A person who is familiar with his judicial defense said that Ghosn continues to keep his virginity.
Meanwhile, Ghosn remains in detention and under Japan’s criminal system, he can remain locked up to 2019 when prosecutors add charges and he is waiting for prosecution.
Prosecutors have not submitted fees or aroused suspicions related to Mr Ghost’s expenses or his use of the company’s property. But the Nissan-owned home he used in Beirut, and another in Rio de Janeiro, has been the subject of court struggles after Nissan took control of them and exchanged locks. Members of Ghosn’s family have been sued for access to personal belongings, artwork and money.
Mr. Ghosns family argues that his arrest and accusations of his abuse of corporate funds are part of a greater fight for control.
“The truth is his arrest is a result of a dispute between Renault on one side and Nissan and Mitsubishi on others,” said the family lawyers in court applications in Brazil and added: “The surprising arrest of Carlos Ghosn is part of a sordid strategy of Nissan to undermine the Renault Alliance. “
Mr.. Ghosn’s children believe that the benefits he enjoyed at Nissan should be weighed against the turn he led to the company and the wealth he created for others at the company for the past two decades, according to a person close to the Ghosn family.
Renault’s ownership of Nissan has been a blessing for the French automaker’s revenue.
Contribution  by Nissan to