Renault has discovered evidence that it paid part of ex-CEO Carlos Ghosn’s wedding costs and is planning to turn the investigation over to prosecutors, two weeks after the automaker’s eliminated Ghosn from the board.
An internal investigation established that a 2016 sponsorship deal with the Chateau de Versailles consisted a 50,000 euro ($57,000) personal benefit to Ghosn, the automaker stated on Thursday, verifying a report in Le Figaro.
The automaker replaced Ghosn on January 24, over two months after his arrest in Japan concerning allegations of financial misconduct revealed by Renault’s Japanese affiliate Nissan, which he also chaired.
Renault started its own investigation of payments to Ghosn within days of his detention but didn’t flagged any irregularities until now.
“The event space at Versailles was made available to him without charge, and Mr Ghosn was not aware that the use of the space would be charged against Renault’s allotted usage,” Ghosn’s French-based lawyer Jean-Yves Leborgne wrote in an e-mailed statement according to Reuters.
“Carlos Ghosn paid for all of his wedding expenses,” he included.
Renault had agreed before the wedding to sponsor 2.3 million euros of Versailles renovations in return for a credit granting the carmaker services from the chateau worth 25 percent of that amount, or 575,000 euros, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The rental fee was reduced from Renault’s credit for use of the Grand Trianon at Versailles on October 8, 2016, when Ghosn and his second wife, Carole, hosted their wedding reception at the 17th-century palace, the source stated. The event had already received public attention for its opulence and Marie Antoinette-themed costumes.
The Renault board was made aware of the discovery on Wednesday, as reported by Le Figaro, the source stated.