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Ousted Nissan's chairman Carlos Ghosn was paid $8 million last year by a Dutch entity: WSJ

Key Points
  • Ghosn signed a contract with a Dutch entity granting him a $1.7 million signing bonus and salary of $6.7 million for the year through March 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter.
  • The amount Ghosn made was more than any of his peers who had held his roles at Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault SA, the Journal says.
Passersby are silhouetted as a huge street monitor broadcasts news reporting ousted Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn's indictment and re-arrest in Tokyo, Japan December 10, 2018.
Issei Kato | Reuters

Carlos Ghosn, the recently ousted Nissan Motor chairman, received about $8 million in pay in 2018 from a Netherlands-based entity that was owned by both Nissan and partner Mitsubishi Motors, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The publication, citing a person familiar with Nissan's probe, reported on Sunday that the motor giant found that Ghosn signed a contract with a Dutch entity that granted him a $1.7 million signing bonus and salary of $6.7 million for the year through March 2019.

The amount Ghosn reportedly made was more than any of his peers who had held his roles at Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault SA. It undercut Ghosn's previous claim that his salary was short of his peers, the Journal said.

A spokesperson for Nissan did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Ghosn has been charged with under-reporting his income in Japan where prosecutors allege that the former Nissan chairman understated his pay in the company's financial statements by more than $80 million over eight years. Ghosn, who was removed from the company after his arrest, has denied the accusations.

The $8 million alleged payments in the Journal report would be in addition to those mentioned in the charges in Japan. The entity that made the payments is called Nissan-Mitsubishi BV, was founded in the Netherlands in June 2017, with the two automakers each having half of the ownership.

Ghosn managed to authorize the payments without other executives' knowledge because he had earned the board approval to have the sole authority to disburse the entity's cash in January 2018, according to The Journal's report.

Nissan has been looking into a number of Dutch entities fully or partly owned by the company, including Renault-Nissan BV, jointly owned with alliance partner Renault, the Journal reported.

The original Wall Street Journal report can be found on its website.

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Key Points
  • "I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations," former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said.
  • He appeared in a Japanese court at a hearing his lawyers had requested to ask prosecutors to justify why the auto executive has not been granted bail.