FILE PHOTO: The Nissan logo is seen at Nissan Motor Co.’s global headquarters building in Yokohama, Japan, December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
TOKYO (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co Ltd on Monday said it was the target of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) inquiry, as the Japanese automaker itself faces scrutiny in a financial scandal it has blamed on ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn.
Nissan has said Ghosn, first arrested on Nov. 19 for financial misconduct, masterminded various financial improprieties including under-reporting his income. Ghosn has denied wrongdoing.
Japanese prosecutors have charged Nissan along with Ghosn for under-reporting his pay, and Bloomberg earlier reported that the U.S. regulator was investigating the company’s disclosures on executive pay.
Bloomberg, citing sources, said the SEC is examining whether the company maintained adequate controls to prevent improper payments.
Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC also sent a request for information to Ghosn. A representative for Ghosn could not immediately be reached for comment.
A Nissan spokesman confirmed the automaker received an inquiry from the U.S. regulator, without giving further details. The SEC was not immediately available to comment on the matter.
Nissan shares fell 0.8 percent to 920.3 yen, compared with a 0.6 percent decline in the Nikkei average.
Japanese companies have been the target of SEC inquiries before, including Toyota Motor Corp over its handling of safety problems. Nissan’s American Depositary Receipts trade in the U.S. over-the-counter market.
Reporting by Ritsuko Ando in Tokyo and Bhanu Pratap in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Christopher Cushing