Carlos Ghosn, recently ousted as chairman of Nissan Motor Co., is denying allegations of under-reporting his remuneration by at least 5 billion yen ($44.3 million) over a five-year period, investigative sources said Nov. 25.

This is the first time word has filtered out that he denies any wrongdoing since his arrest Nov. 19. He is being held at the Tokyo Detention House.

Ghosn has told investigators he did not engage in any financial misconduct.

Greg Kelly, a former representative director of Nissan who was arrested with Ghosn, insists he handled his boss’s financial matters appropriately, according to the sources.

Ghosn and Kelly were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to report only half of Ghosn’s compensation in the company’s financial reports from fiscal 2010 to 2014 in the violation of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law.

The carmaker’s financial reports only declared Ghosn’s yearly remuneration as about 1 billion yen, even though it was double that figure.

Investigators say creative accounting was used to disguise the difference in total remuneration by drawing up a contract to guarantee that Ghosn would be paid the accumulated amount after his retirement.

A new document was produced each year to specify that Ghosn was entitled to the payment after his retirement from the board.

The Special Investigation Department of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office says the remaining half should have been included in Nissan’s financial reports as his future compensation was set in stone.

But Kelly, a U.S. lawyer, is expected to argue that the money Ghosn was to be paid after his departure from the board did not amount to executive compensation and thus is not subject to disclosure in financial reports, according to the sources.

Kelly concluded after consulting with an outside lawyer and accountant that the way Ghosn’s remuneration was handled did not pose any legal problems.

A document is thought to exist that the outside lawyer drew up and declared the arrangement is clear of any legal problems.

Aside from the 5 billion yen in concealed future income over the five-year period, Ghosn is suspected of having under-reported 3 billion yen or so from fiscal 2015 to 2017, bringing his total unreported compensation to 8 billion yen, according to the sources.

Ghosn was removed as Nissan’s chairman and representative director at an extraordinary board meeting on Nov. 22. Kelly was stripped of his post of a representative director. But both remain on Nissan's board.