Nissan sues ousted chairman’s sister for ‘unjust enrichment’

FILE PHOTO: Carlos Ghosn attends the Tomorrow In Motion event on the eve of press day at the Paris Auto Show, in Paris, France, October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Nissan (7201.T) sued ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn’s sister on Tuesday in a Rio de Janeiro court for “unjust enrichment,” according to judicial records seen by Reuters.

The suit is the latest twist to a bitter legal fight between Ghosn and Nissan over the contents of a beachfront apartment that the former executive used during his trips to Brazil.

Brazilian-born Ghosn is accused of having underreported his income while leading the Japanese carmaker and diverting company funds for his personal use. He is being held in a prison in Japan and the carmaker says there might be evidence of his alleged crimes in the Rio apartment.

Additional details regarding the unjust enrichment suit were not immediately available and it was unclear how long it might take to resolve the case.

The Japanese press had already reported that Ghosn’s sister, Claudine Bichara de Oliveira, could be embroiled in the scandal.

Yomuri, Japan’s largest daily by circulation, reported in November citing unnamed sources that Nissan’s internal investigation had found that Ghosn instructed the company since 2002 to pay some $100,000 a year to his elder sister. The compensation was supposed to be for a role as an adviser.

The paper added that Bichara de Oliveira had in fact been living in and managing the Rio apartment that Nissan had bought for the use of Ghosn and that she had done no advisory work for the car maker.

A representative for the Ghosn family did not have an immediate comment.

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Christian Plumb and David Gregorio

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