Renault reports ex-boss Ghosn's small but suspect deal to police

The French carmaker has said its former chief Carlos Ghosn personally benefited from a sponsorship deal. Ghosn, an auto industry stalwart, is on trial in Japan over allegations of financial misconduct.

French carmaker Renault said on Thursday it had informed investigators that its former Chairman and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn had benefited personally from a sponsorship deal.

Renault said it had uncovered that Ghosn received a sum of €50,000 ($57,000) as part of a sponsorship deal with the Palace of Versailles outside Paris.

"The elements gathered so far require additional checks to be carried out," the company said in a statement. "Groupe Renault has decided to bring these facts to the attention of the judicial authorities."

The operators of the palace waived the usual 50,000-euro fee for a marriage reception at the 17th-century Grand Trianon complex as part of the sponsorship deal.

Ghosn threw an extravagant Marie Antoinette-themed wedding party at Versailles to celebrate his second marriage in October 2016.

Ghosn, an auto industry titan hailed for his role in saving Japanese auto giant Nissan and establishing the three-way Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, has been in custody in Japan since November, facing trial on charges of financial misconduct.

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Business | 11.01.2019

Top car executive Carlos Ghosn on trial in Tokyo: how did ...

10-year jail term?

Ghosn was also the chairman of Nissan and of Mitsubishi, until he was sacked after his arrest in Tokyo. He is accused of underreporting his pay package and using the company's assets for his personal use among other things.

It is also alleged that he moved personal investment losses to Nissan's books. If found guilty, Ghosn faces up to 10 years in jail as well as a fine of millions of dollars.

Renault paid Ghosn €7.4 million in salary in 2017. He earned almost the same amount for his positions at the Japanese car companies.

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