Dealer Group Sues Nissan Featured

By Staff Writer December 27, 2019

The court-appointed receiver for the Sage Group of auto dealerships has filed a lawsuit against Nissan Motor Co. and two subsidiaries for fraudulently forcing two popular Southern California dealerships into a fire-sale to a crony of Carlos Ghosn, the automaker’s fallen CEO. The Sage Group was founded by Morris Sage in 1969 and operated a group of successful automobile dealerships, including one of the first Nissan dealerships in the country, Universal City Nissan.

The lawsuit was filed on Dec.19 by Byron Z. Moldo, court-appointed receiver for Universal City Nissan, Glendale Nissan/Infiniti, and West Covina Nissan, against Nissan Motor Co., Nissan North America, Inc., Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp., and the Trophy Automotive Dealer Group LLC, which is owned by Nasser Watar. Watar’s business partner is Saudi billionaire Khaled al-Juffali.

Moldo claims the dealerships fell victim to the culture of corporate corruption and greed that flourished at the Japanese automaker under Ghosn before he was arrested in November 2018 for underreporting compensation and raiding corporate accounts.

One of the charges facing Ghosn is that he used $14.7 million in corporate money to repay a personal loan from al-Juffali. The lawsuit claims that Ghosn repaid al-Juffali and Watar’s loyalty by having Nissan enter into a lucrative joint venture with al-Juffali and Watar’s company in Saudi Arabia.

The lawsuit also alleges al-Juffali and Watar unfairly benefitted in the United States from the fraudulent actions of two other Nissan subsidiaries - Nissan North America and its dealer financing arm, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp., which conspired to financially bleed the Sage Group’s dealerships and force a fire-sale to Ghosn’s cronies at Trophy Automotive.

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Last modified on Friday, 03 January 2020 17:10

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