Japan convicts U.S. father-son duo in Carlos Ghosn's escape

Japan convicts U.S. father-son duo in Carlos Ghosn's escape
Two U.S. citizens were convicted by a Japanese court on Monday for aiding Carlos Ghosn's daring escape from the country in December 2019. File photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

July 19 (UPI) -- A Japanese court on Monday convicted and sentenced two Americans, a father and son, for aiding the high-profile and elaborate escape from the country of former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn two years ago.

Ghosn escaped Japan in late December 2019 while out on bail awaiting trial on charges including breach of trust, underreporting his salary and siphoning payments from the automaker.


The Brazilian businessman, now 67, escaped Japan for Lebanon where he holds a passport after being smuggled aboard a private jet within a case designed for a musical instrument.

On Monday, a Tokyo court convicted Michael and Peter Taylor after they pleaded guilty last month to knowingly helping Ghosn flee the country. Michael Taylor, a former Green Beret, was sentenced to two years in jail, and Peter Taylor was sentenced to one year and eight months.

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Prosecutors accused the Taylors of being paid more than $1 million each to help with Ghosn's escape.

The father-son duo were arrested in May of last year and were extradited to Japan in March.

According to U.S. court documents citing information provided by the government of Japan, Peter Taylor traveled three times to Japan between July and December 2019 when he met with Ghosn on at least seven occasions.

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A day before Ghosn's escape, Peter Taylor arrived in Japan and checked into the Grand Hyatt Tokyo hotel where he met with Ghosn for an hour.

On the day of the escape, Michael Taylor with a third accomplice, George Antoine Zayek, traveled by private jet from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Japan where they entered the country posing as musicians in possession of two large boxes, which they dropped off at the Star Gate Hotel Kansai.

According to the documents, Ghosn traveled from his home without luggage to the Hyatt where he changed into clothes the younger Taylor had left for him. Michael Taylor and Zayek then met Peter Taylor at the Hyatt where they were jointed by Ghosn.

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From there, the younger Taylor traveled to Narita Airport where he boarded a flight to China while the three other men traveled on to the Star Gate Hotel Kansai, where Micheal Taylor and Zayek left with the two large boxes for the Kansai International Airport where they had initially landed.

Prosecutors said there was no sign that Ghosn had ever left the hotel.

"Once at the airport, their baggage passed through the security check without being checked and was loaded onto a private jet," the document said, stating Ghosn was inside one of the boxes. "The two men boarded a private jet with the large boxes and departed for Turkey."


Two days later in Lebanon, Ghosn announced his escape.

Ghosn has denied the charges against him and said he was fleeing political persecution when he left Japan.

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