Ghosn Ready to Repay Cost of Versailles Wedding
Detained former Renault boss Carlos Ghosn is ready to repay a 50,000-euro ($57,000) bill for his wedding party at the Palace of Versailles which was waived under a sponsorship deal with the French car group, his lawyer said Friday.
Renault said Thursday that it would report the incident to prosecutors after learning that the famed chateau on the outskirts of Paris had waived its usual rental fee under a sponsorship deal signed in 2016.
Ghosn's lawyer in France, Jean-Yves Le Borgne, told AFP that the executive "stands ready" to repay the money, adding that his client was "not aware he owed it because he had not been billed."
"He thought it was free," Le Borgne added.
The waived bill could amount to the misuse of company resources, as well as tax evasion, if the benefit-in-kind was not declared to French authorities.
Ghosn's tenure as CEO has come under the microscope since his arrest last November in Japan on charges he under-reported millions of dollars in pay as head of Nissan, Renault's alliance partner.
His subsequent indictment on three charges of financial misconduct has led to renewed scrutiny of his management and lifestyle at both companies while he sits in a Tokyo jail awaiting trial.
Ghosn and his second wife Carole threw a Marie Antoinette-themed dinner and party at the former royal residence at Versailles, complete with entertainers in period costumes, on October 8, 2016.
In a statement, the Chateau de Versailles said Renault had signed a 2.3-million-euro sponsorship deal with the palace in June 2016, a few months before Ghosn's wedding.
Under the terms of the deal, Renault could benefit in return from Versailles access and other services worth a maximum 25 percent of the deal, in this case around 575,000 euros, it said.