COURTS

Nissan, Ghosn to pay fines in fraud case

Nissan will pay $15 million, and former chairman Carlos Ghosn will pay $1 million to settle allegations by U.S. regulators that they hid more than $140 million of Ghosn’s retirement benefits from investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday the settlement of civil fraud charges with the major Japanese automaker and its former chairman, who also will be barred for 10 years from serving as an officer or director of a public company. Ghosn, 65, is awaiting trial in Japan on financial misconduct charges in a criminal case.

Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades, was arrested by Japanese authorities in Tokyo and jailed four times since November. He has maintained that he is innocent.

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He is out on bail but faces restrictions on his activities. The first hearing in the trial has been set for April.

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Ghosn and Nissan settled the charges without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations but agreed to refrain from future anti-fraud violations.

In addition, a former Nissan director, Greg Kelly, agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty to settle the SEC charges, to be barred for five years from serving as an officer or director of a public company, and to be suspended for five years from practicing as an attorney before the SEC.

In a statement issued in Japan, Nissan noted that it had cooperated with the SEC’s investigation. It said it has taken action to prevent problems from recurring, including setting up a new governance structure. The automaker said it has amended all its affected financial reports.

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— Associated Press

WALL STREET

Banker convicted

of insider trading

Former Perella Weinberg Partners managing director Sean Stewart was convicted of insider trading, the second time a federal jury has found the banker guilty and a win for prosecutors.

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The case was as much family tragedy as courtroom drama. Stewart was accused of leaking information on five health-care mergers to his father. Although he never got any of the profit, his father and two associates raked in $1.1 million from trading on the tips they received from 2011 to 2014, prosecutors said.Stewart’s father got probation after pleading guilty.

Jurors in Manhattan deliberated for just 20 minutes last week and 45 minutes on Monday before returning their verdict. Stewart, 38, frowned when he heard the forewoman declare the first “guilty” of nine.

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Stewart, who didn’t take the stand, was first convicted in a 2016 trial, after more than five days of jury deliberations, and sentenced to three years in prison. He served about 13 months before a federal appeals court ordered him released in June 2018, then threw out the conviction, ruling that the judge had made errors that deprived him of a fair trial.

Stewart is free on bail until his sentencing on Jan. 29.

— Bloomberg News

Also in Business

  • The strike against General Motors by 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers entered its second week Monday with progress reported in negotiations but no clear end in sight. Bargainers met all weekend and returned to talks Monday morning as the strike entered its eighth day. Workers walked off their jobs on Sept. 16, paralyzing production at about 30 manufacturing sites in nine states. Already the strike has forced GM to shut down two Canadian factories that make engines, older-model pickup trucks and two car models.
  • Honda said on Monday it would phase out all diesel cars by 2021 in favor of models with electric propulsion systems, as the Japanese automaker moves to electrify all of its European cars by 2025. By next year, according to European Union emission targets, carbon dioxide must be cut to 95 grams per kilometer for 95 percent of cars from the current 120.5-gram average, a figure that has increased as consumers spurn fuel-efficient diesels and embrace SUVs. All new cars in the E.U. must be compliant in 2021.
  • Goldman Sachs is promoting two women to senior leadership roles in its technology, media and telecom investment banking unit, a move it hopes will cement its position as the most diverse tech banking team on Wall Street. Kim Posnett, global head of Internet investment banking, will also become co-chief operating officer of the bank’s global TMT banking unit alongside Jung Min. Tammy Kiely, global head of semiconductor investment banking, is adding the role of co-head of global technology investment banking with Ryan Limaye.

— From news services

Coming today

9 a.m.: Standard & Poor's releases S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for July.

10 a.m.: The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for September.

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