The French auto firm said yesterday it would alert prosecutors over concerns that Renault's sponsorship deal with the palace, where Ghosn held a wedding reception in 2016 as well as a party for his wife's birthday, benefitted its former boss to the tune of €50,000 (£43,800). Before his decision to pay back the Versailles palace was made public, his lawyer in France, Jean-Yves Le Borgne, had said in an emailed statement Ghosn paid for all his wedding expenses.
The rental fee was deducted from Renault's credit for use of the Grand Trianon at Versailles on October 8, 2016, when Ghosn and his second wife, Carole, hosted their wedding reception at the 17th-century palace, the source said.
"He thought it was free", Le Borgne said.
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.More news: Kings vs. Bruins - Game Recap - 10 February 2019
Renault has discovered that "Mr Ghosn was accorded a personal benefit valued at 50,000 euros under the terms of a sponsorship contract with the Chateau de Versailles", the company said in a statement on Thursday.
Renault had agreed before the wedding to sponsor 2.3 million euros of Versailles renovations in return for a credit granting the carmaker services from the chateau worth 25 percent of that amount, or 575,000 euros, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Ghosn threw an extravagant Marie Antoinette-themed wedding party at Versailles to celebrate his second marriage which featured actors in 18th-century clothing.
The letter sent by Renault's lawyers on January 19 claims that staff at Nissan failed to comply with "standards and rules in force in France, the USA and elsewhere" during the investigation into Mr Ghosn's alleged misconduct.More news: United Kingdom paper reveals abuse claims against tycoon Philip Green
At the time, Ghosn was chairman and CEO of Renault, as well as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi, and chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.
The Japanese case includes suspicions that Ghosn under-reported his income as chairman of Nissan and falsified financial reports. "There are some coincidences that have nothing to do with cause-and-effect relationships".
He resigned last month as chairman and chief executive officer of Renault, in which the French state is the most powerful shareholder.More news: US destroyers sail in disputed South China Sea amid trade tensions