September 20, 2021

Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan: two Americans sentenced to 24 and 20 months in prison

A Tokyo court on Monday sentenced a former member of the US special forces and his son to jail for helping former Renault and Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn flee Japan at the end of 2019, where he was facing charges of financial embezzlement.

Michael Taylor, 60, and his son Peter Taylor, 28, who pleaded guilty to the charges last month, were sentenced to 24 months and 20 months respectively.

Carlos Ghosn, who denies the accusations of financial embezzlement against him, had fled to Lebanon, which does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.

From the start of their trial on June 14, the Taylors had not contested the allegations against them. They were arrested in May 2020 in the United States and then extradited to Japan in March this year.

According to investigators, the Taylors received from Camp Ghosn $ 862,500 to prepare for the operation, then the equivalent of $ 500,000 in bitcoins thereafter to pay their legal fees.

A man not found

The escape took place under incredible circumstances: the fallen auto industry magnate hid in a large box of audio equipment to avoid controls at Osaka airport (western Japan), which did not practice them at the time on the luggage of passengers of a private jet.

Carlos Ghosn was thus able to reach Beirut via Istanbul aboard private jets hired for the occasion. The former big boss of Renault and Nissan was on bail in Tokyo with the ban on leaving Japanese territory, pending the opening of his trial for alleged financial embezzlement at Nissan, accusations he has always denied.

His leak did not prevent the opening in September 2020 of a criminal trial in Tokyo over deferred compensation totaling several tens of millions of dollars that the president of Nissan was supposed to receive after his retirement, but without this being mentioned. in the group’s stock market reports.

A former Nissan legal official, the American Greg Kelly, who was arrested in Japan on the same day as Carlos Ghosn in November 2018, is still on trial in this case and faces up to ten years in prison.

In February, three Turkish nationals were sentenced to more than four years in prison each by an Istanbul court in the case: an official from the Turkish private jet charter company MNG Jet and two pilots who had operated the Osaka flight. -Istanbul.

Another alleged accomplice, George-Antoine Zayek, a man of Lebanese origin who had assisted the Taylors during the exfiltration, remains untraceable.