Former Nissan Motor Chariman Carlos Ghosn leaves the Tokyo Detention House in Tokyo, Japan April 25, 2019.

Issei Kato | Reuters

Nissan filed a civil lawsuit against former Chairman Carlos Ghosn on Wednesday, seeking an initial amount of 10 billion Japanese yen ($90 million).

The company said the suit, filed at Yokohama District Court in Kanagawa, was “in order to recover a significant part of the monetary damages inflicted on the company by its former chairman as a result of years of his misconduct and fraudulent activity.”

The claimed damages are linked to Ghosn’s “breach of fiduciary duty as a company director and his misappropriation of Nissan’s resources and assets,” the Japanese automaker said in a statement.

The size of the claim is expected to rise as Nissan seeks to recover fines paid to the Japanese Financial Services Agency, and likely penalties imposed in criminal proceedings related to Ghosn’s activities.

The figure has been calculated based on funds linked to “fraudulent payments made to or by Ghosn” including the unpaid use of overseas property, private use of corporate jets, payments to his sister and personal lawyer, along with the costs of Nissan’s investigation into Ghosn and subsequent regulatory and legal costs.

This claim is separate to the ongoing civil lawsuit Nissan initiated against Ghosn in the British Virgin Islands last August.

“The legal actions form part of Nissan’s policy of holding Ghosn accountable for the harm and financial losses incurred by the company as a result of his misconduct,” the company said.

“Nissan also reserves the right to pursue separate legal action over groundless and defamatory remarks made by Ghosn in comments to the media following his escape to Lebanon in violation of his bail conditions in Japan.”

Ghosn was arrested in Japan in November 2018 for alleged financial misconduct and was held in house arrest. He fled the country in December 2019 and escaped to Lebanon.

Since his arrest, Ghosn has staunchly denied all allegations against him and has claimed that he is gathering documents to prove his innocence and that of fellow Nissan executive Greg Kelly, who was also arrested in November 2018 and remains in Japan. Ghosn insists that he was framed by former Nissan colleagues and Japanese government officials.

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