Exclusive: New allegations against Ghosn concern payments to Saudi businessman – sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – Fresh misconduct allegations brought by Tokyo prosecutors against ousted Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn center on the use of company funds to pay a Saudi businessman who is believed to have helped him out of financial difficulties, two company sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Prosecutors arrested Ghosn for a third time on Friday, accusing him of aggravated breach of trust in transferring personal investment losses to the automaker.

The prosecutors’ statement said they believe that around October 2008, Ghosn was trying to deal with losses on paper of 1.85 billion yen ($16.6 million) incurred on a swap contract he had with a bank which it did not name.

A person helped arrange a letter of credit for Ghosn and a company run by the person later received $14.7 million in Nissan funds in four installments between 2009 and 2012, the statement said, adding that the payments were made in Ghosn’s and the person’s interests.

“By doing so, (Ghosn) behaved in a way that breached trust, and inflicted damage on the property of Nissan,” the statement said. The statement also said Ghosn had earlier sought to have Nissan shoulder the appraisal losses directly.

According to the Nissan sources who have knowledge of the company’s probe into its former chief, the person who helped Ghosn is Khaled Al-Juffali, vice chairman of one of Saudi Arabia’s largest conglomerates, E. A. Juffali and Brothers, and a member of the board at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority.

He is also majority owner of a company called Al-Dahana which owns half of

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