Carlos Ghosn, the towering Lebanese-Brazilian CEO of Nissan, has been fired and arrested amid an investigation into alleged income misconduct.
An internal probe found that Ghosn allegedly underreported his salary and used company assets for personal gain, according to multiple media reports.
Ghosn, 64, is credited as a major figure and turnaround master in the global automobile industry. Ghosn has yet to respond publicly to these allegations.
Japanese prosecutors said Ghosn, 64 and a second Nissan board member, Greg Kelly, were taken into custody on suspicion of violating financial laws by filing false statements.
The two men allegedly collaborated to under-report Ghosn’s income by about 5 billion yen, or $44 million, over a five-year period ending in March 2015.
The maximum punishment for filing a false financial statement is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to 10 million yen, or $89,000, reported CNN Business.
“Nissan deeply apologizes for causing great concern to our shareholders and stakeholders,” the company statement said. “We will continue our work to identify our governance and compliance issues, and to take appropriate measures.”
The auto executive is known globally for his turnaround efforts at Renault and Nissan, where he helped steer the companies out of financial crisis.