Carlos Ghosn has been on the lam and hanging in Lebanon for almost four years now, but his story continues to deepen. The disgraced auto executive has been living in a multimillion-dollar compound in Beirut, but Lebanese courts recently ruled that he and his wife must leave the property due to a dispute over who rightfully owns the place.
Ghosn moved into the estate in 2019, but the company that owns the $19 million property insists that he’s been “trespassing on private property and living in the home without legal basis.” Phoinos Investment, the company that owns the property, apparently has or had a relationship with Nissan that allowed Ghosn to live there. However, a judge ruled that his time there was part of a contractual relationship between Ghosn and Nissan that stopped when his time at the company ended abruptly.
The court gave him until mid-November to vacate the property, and his legal team has appealed the decision. It’s unclear where he’ll go if ultimately forced to leave. Still, his precarious legal status likely prevents leaving Lebanon for fear of arrest and extradition to France or Japan, where both countries want the former CEO for fraud and other charges.
Ghosn implemented an ambitious turnaround plan at Nissan in the early 2000s and headed the company, along with Renault, for several years from 2005 until late 2018, when he was arrested and stripped of his executive privileges by the Nissan board. He was accused of using company funds to build and buy lavish properties around the world, and some of the money was funneled through a shell company to hide its origins.
Ghosn escaped from Japanese custody in December 2018, hidden in a cargo crate with audio equipment. He had help from a team of people, including some at the airports who falsified passenger records. Lebanon, where Ghosn has citizenship, does not have an extradition agreement with Japan and has the right to refuse extradition on the charges from French authorities.