Nissan paying $15M, Ghosn $1M to settle SEC fraud charges

Nissan will pay $15 million and its embattled former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, will pay $1 million to settle federal regulators' civil fraud charges of hiding more than $140 million in compensation and retirement benefits for Ghosn from investors.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Monday with the major Japanese automaker and its former chairman, who also agreed to be barred for 10 years from serving as an officer or director of a public company. Ghosn is awaiting trial in Japan on financial misconduct allegations in a criminal case.

Ghosn and Nissan Motor Co. settled the charges without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, but agreed to refrain from future anti-fraud violations of the securities laws.

In a statement, Ghosn's team of lawyers noted that he will be allowed to contest and deny the allegations in the criminal case in Japan, and they said he "fully intends to do so."

"Mr. Ghosn and his defense team are now able to focus their efforts on continuing to vigorously fight the criminal case in Japan and pursue his claims against Nissan around the world," the statement said. "They remain confident that, if given a fair trial, he will be acquitted of all charges and fully vindicated."

The SEC claimed that Ghosn and his Nissan subordinates concealed more than $90 million of his compensation from investors and public disclosure starting in 2009.

FILE- In this Sept. 27, 2018, file photo line technicians work on assembling a redesigned Nissan Altima sedan at its Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Canton, Miss. On Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Federal Reserve reports on U.S. industrial production (AP)

"Simply put, Nissan's disclosures about Ghosn's compensation were false," Steven Peikin, co-director of the SEC's enforcement division, said in a statement. "Through these disclosures, Nissan advanced Ghosn and Kelly's deceptions and misled investors, including U.S. investors."

Ghosn is out of jail in Japan after posting $4.5 million bail in April and agreeing to curbs on contacting his wife, Carole Ghosn.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.