Japanese prosecutors have charged former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn with financial misconduct, accusing him of under-reporting his pay package over a five-year period.
Carlos Ghosn was indicted Monday and accused of concealing as much as $45 million in Ghosn’s income and using Nissan funds to buy personal homes abroad.
Ghosn, who is already in jail in Tokyo in connection with the case, could face up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted.
Ghosn has previously denied the accusations.
The formal charges came the same day Ghosn and his former chief of staff, Greg Kelly, would have had to have been released after 22 days of detention had they not been charged or arrested under a new warrant.
Ghosn has been credited with rescuing Nissan from near-bankruptcy in 1999 when Groupe Renault bought a stake in Nissan and installed Ghosn to turn it around after it had run up massive amounts of debt.
Nissan quickly recovered under his leadership, and Ghosn was soon elevated to chief executive not only of Nissan but also of the parent Renault-Nissan Alliance, making him a superstar in the automotive world.
Brazil-born Ghosn, aged 64, was the architect of the Renault-Nissan alliance and brought Mitsubishi on board in 2016. In the past, he has been hailed a hero in Japan for turning around the ailing Nissan.
Nissan and Mitsubishi both sacked Ghosn as chairman after the arrest last month.
Renault said at the time Ghosn would remain as its chairman and chief executive but has appointed a temporary deputy chief executive to take over the running of the firm.
Despite selling fewer vehicles, Renault has a 43% shareholding in Nissan, while Nissan’s stake in Renault is only 15%.
Nissan holds a 34% stake in Mitsubishi but has effective control of the company.