The settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC), Nissan Motor Co., and Carlos Ghosn offers a rare glimpseinto the steps that were taken to make sure the more than $140million paid to the ex-chairman wasn't disclosed publicly.

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That's because many of the claims against Nissan and Ghosnhaven't been detailed in public documents in Japan. The chargesagainst Nissan, Ghosn, and Greg Kelly, the other ex-Nissanexecutive charged with financial crimes, don't offer specifics, andtheir trial isn't due to start until next year. Ghosn also facescharges in Japan related to money flows in the Middle East.

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In the SEC settlement, Nissan was fined $15 million over theallegations, while Ghosn, 65, was hit with a $1 million penalty,the SEC said in a statement Monday. "We are pleased to haveresolved this matter in the U.S. with no findings or admission ofwrongdoing," Ghosn's defense team said, adding that they will"vigorously fight the criminal case in Japan and pursue his claimsagainst Nissan around the world."

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Nissan, based in Yokohama, said in a statement that itcooperated fully with the SEC.

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Even so, the SEC's complaint offers theclearest picture yet of some of the methods allegedly used byGhosn, Kelly, and Nissan to hide compensation and payments made tothe fallen auto titan. Here are some of key details:

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Disclosure Rules Changes

Because of an impending change in Japan's disclosure rules in2009 for corporate directors, "Ghosn became concerned aboutcriticism that might result in the Japanese and French media if histotal compensation became publicly known," the SEC said.

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Every year from 2011, a senior employee "would prepare forGhosn's approval a document summarizing Ghosn's total fixedcompensation, his paid compensation that was being disclosed, andhis remaining compensation that was not paid and was not beingdisclosed," the complaint said. About $94 million of Ghosn'sundisclosed compensation was determined in this manner, the agencysaid.

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Payout Methods

In order to pay out the undisclosed compensation, "Ghosn and hissubordinates sought multiple ways to pay his undisclosedcompensation through Nissan-related entities without disclosure,"the complaint said. While they considered paying this out usingNissan subsidiaries, they instead decided to postpone the paymentsfor a later undisclosed date, according to the agency.

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The total remuneration, paid remuneration, and postponedremuneration were tracked each year in a spreadsheet, according tothe SEC. A Nissan employee "showed or provided to Ghosn the reportshe prepared each fiscal year to set Ghosn's total, paid, andpostponed compensation, as well as the spreadsheets he maintainedand updated each year that tracked the same information," thecomplaint said.

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Another plan to pay out the undisclosed compensation emerged in2013, when Ghosn and his subordinates sought to use Nissan'slong-term incentive plan (LTIP) to release cash to the former CEO,according to the SEC. Although Ghosn hadn't participated previouslyin the incentive plan, an employee of the automaker preparedbackdated letters that granted Ghosn compensation under the planfor the amount of undisclosed agreed-upon compensation.

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"The backdated LTIP award letters were intended to ensure Ghosnwould receive payment on the postponed compensation that had beenomitted from Nissan's director compensation disclosures," thecomplaint said. The funding for the plan's payments came from apool of money called the CEO Reserve, and in order for the CFO tosign off on the payments, he was "falsely told that the LTIP awardswere a broad-based grant to numerous Nissan participants ratherthan that the vast majority was for Ghosn and included exchangerate protection on the inflated retirement allowance," the documentsaid.

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Boosted Retirement Allowance

Separately, Ghosn used another method to increase hiscompensation: boosting his retirement allowance by more than $50million, according to the SEC. Ghosn and his subordinates backdatedretirement award letters in order to increase his compensation, andthen sought to make the changes in the accounting record, theagency said. Because the increase in retirement would have to bemade public, they decided to make the changes by saying it was amiscalculation, the SEC said.

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"Sometime afterward, Ghosn's subordinates, including Kelly, tooksteps to have Nissan's finance department record the pensionincrease in Nissan's accounting systems, including by falselyinforming Nissan's CFO that the increase was the result of amistake at the Secretariat's Office," the complaint said.

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