Today, the Figaro newspaper and Agence France-Presse reported that prosecutors in France have launched a preliminary inquiry into how Carlos Ghosn, the former Renault chief, financed his wedding in 2016.
Last month, the French carmaker said that it had discovered evidence, after an internal investigation, that it had footed some of the wedding bills. It established in its own probe that a Renault sponsorship deal in 2016 with the Chateau de Versailles outside Paris included a 50,000 euro (£42,566) personal benefit to Ghosn, and said that it would alert the prosecutors.
The reports said that the prosecutor’s office in Nanterre near Paris was handling the probe. It did not immediately answer requests for comment regarding the matter.
Ghosn was dismissed as the head of Nissan and later removed as Chief Executive Officer of Renault following his arrest in Japan last November over accusations of financial misconduct that are linked to his salary. He was only released on a $9 million (£6.8 million) bail last week.
In the wake of the said scandal, Renault started its own review of the payments to Ghosn.
The former executive has since denied any wrongdoing that is associated with his wedding.
When the allegations came to light last February, Jean-Yves Leborgne, his French-based lawyer, stated: “The event space at Versailles was made available to him without charge, and Mr Ghosn was unaware that the use of the space would be charged against Renault’s allotted usage.” He added that Ghosn had paid for all of the expenses for his wedding.
Renault turned down requests for comment.
A person with knowledge of the matter revealed that before the wedding, the carmaker had agreed to sponsor 2.3 million euros of renovations at the historic Versailles palace in return for a credit that would grant it services from the chateau worth 25 percent of the said amount, or 575,000 euros.
The source said that the rental fee was deducted from the credit for use of Renault of the Grand Trianon building at Versailles on October 8, 2016, when Ghosn and his second wife, Carole, hosted their wedding reception.
The said event had already drawn public attention for its opulence and Marie Antoinette-themed costumes.