Blurred lines in an investigation

The discovery of more private jets than first thought in the case against Carlos Ghosn, former Nissan chief, is the latest in the evidence trail found by investigators examining the joint finances of Renault and Nissan. According to the Financial Times, the number of private jets at the disposal of the global car-making alliance was three more than previously thought.

The jets were said to have been financed by Nissan-Renault’s Dutch holding company, RNBV. Mr Ghosn, who led the alliance before being ousted following his arrest, was known for his hectic travel schedule and said in 2017 that it was not uncommon for him to leave Tokyo on a Friday night, attend meetings in another country over the weekend and then fly to Paris for a week of work.

Questions about the use of company jets have focused on the blurred lines between Mr Ghosn’s globe-spanning business remit and his personal life, with children and personal properties on several continents. As well as use of the jets, some of the money allegedly misappropriated was [allegedly] funnelled to a British Virgin Islands-listed company to purchase a luxury yacht. That company has Mr Ghosn’s wife, Carole, registered as the president.

Mr Ghosn is awaiting trial in Japan on charges that he failed to report $82 million in Nissan pay he had arranged to receive after retirement. He also faces allegations of transferring personal investment losses to Nissan and steering $14.7 million in company funds to a Saudi businessman.

It is rare for lines not to be blurred in a forensic investigation, because if someone really has misappropriated funds, they are likely to make the trail as complicated as possible for the forensic accountants to follow.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon said: “A forensic investigation is a fantastic tool to discover assets that people have attempted to hide from the public eye.

“If you feel a forensic investigation is the best course of action for you, then it is important that you seek specialist advice from our expert team. Contact us today for an in-depth discussion.”

Author: Roger Isaacs 15 April 2019