File picture: Regis Duvignau / Reuters.

TOKYO, JAPAN - Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn has denied any impropriety over payments he made during his time at the car company, following a recent newspaper report stating that Japanese tax authorities accused him of using company money for private use.

"Mr. Ghosn categorically denies that there was anything improper about the payments or donations at issue, all of which were made for the benefit of Nissan," according to a statement issued by a spokesman.

"There is nothing new in these allegations, which arise from inquiries by the tax authorities and taxes paid by Nissan years ago," the statement said.

"The prosecutors' decision to leak them now, only days after Mr. Ghosn publicly released court filings detailing extensive prosecutorial misconduct and previewing his defenses for the first time, is a transparent effort to distract from the failings of their case."

Japan's Yomiuri reported on Tuesday that the country's tax authorities had determined Ghosn used money for private use, bolstering the carmaker's case that he diverted corporate funds for personal gain.

The Japanese newspaper, without citing sources, said the National Tax Agency found Ghosn used Nissan money for several years to pay consultant fees to his sister for fictitious work and to make donations to a university in Lebanon.

The former Nissan chairman holds Lebanese nationality. He is awaiting trial in Japan on charges of financial misconduct, which he denies.

Since his first arrest in November last year, Ghosn has been charged four times on allegations that he underreported his Nissan salary, temporarily transferred personal financial losses to Nissan's books, and authorised payments to car dealers with the purpose of enriching himself.

Reuters