Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn built a business in Silicon Valley with his son, investing in startups with millions of dollars he received from a Nissan business partner in Oman, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Bank transfer documents and emails reviewed by the Journal show how the money ended up in the investment fund in Silicon Valley. People familiar with the matter told the Journal that Ghosn did not inform Nissan he started the investment business with the Nissan distributor, Suhail Bahwan Automobiles in Oman.
The Oman-related criminal charge alleges Ghosn stole Nissan money by arranging for the automaker to pay $10 million to the Nissan distributor in Oman, and having $5 million of those funds sent back to Ghosn through a Lebanon-based company, Good Faith Investments.
Japanese authorities arrested Ghosn in November for financial crimes after an investigation by Nissan. His trial is expected to begin this year. Ghosn has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
"The prosecutors, in collaboration with Nissan, have stepped up their campaign to attack Mr. Ghosn and sully his reputation through leaked fabrications, falsehoods and misrepresentations," a spokesman for Ghosn wrote in an email to the Journal on Monday. "We intend to present our case in a court of law, not the press. Mr. Ghosn is innocent and will be vindicated if given a fair trial."
Meanwhile, a judge in the British Virgin Islands issued a provisional order Friday to prevent Ghosn from selling his 120-foot yacht.
The Ghosn family broker found a tentative buyer for the yacht, according to people familiar with the matter, the Journal reported. The order stated if the Ghosn family sells the yacht, the family would need to transfer proceeds to the court until the dispute is resolved.
The Ghosns own the Navetta 37 vessel through Beauty Yachts in the British Virgin Islands. The boat was bought with funds from Good Faith Investments for $11.2 million in 2015, the report said.