Ghosn 'wired £650k to firm run by man who smuggled him out of Japan'

Ghosn 'wired £650k to firm run by man who smuggled him out of Japan'

July 9, 2020

Fugitive Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn ‘wired over £650,000 to firm run by man who helped smuggle him out of Japan in a musical equipment case’

  • Carlos Ghosn fled corruption charges in Japan to return home to Lebanon  
  • Father and son Michael and Peter Taylor are accused of helping the Nissan CEO 
  • Court found today that Ghosn wired over £650k to a company linked to the son 

Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn wired more than £650,000 to a company linked to one of the men accused of helping smuggle him out of Japan in a box last year, prosecutors said in a new court filing.

Prosecutors filed documents Tuesday detailing two wire transfers made by Ghosn in October 2019 as evidence they say shows Michael Taylor and Peter Taylor ‘have the resources with which to flee and therefore should continue to remain detained as flight risks.’

The documents show two wire transfers to the company Promote Fox LLC, which prosecutors say is managed by Peter Taylor.

Michael Taylor, a 59-year-old U.S. Army Special Forces veteran, and his 27-year-old son Peter Taylor are wanted in Japan on allegations that they helped Ghosn flee the country in December while he was out on bail and awaiting trial on financial misconduct allegations.

This handout video grab image released by The Istanbul Police Department on January 17, 2020, shows Michael Taylor (second from right) and George Antoine Zayek (centre) at passport control in Istanbul Airport, two men accused of helping fugitive businessman Carlos Ghosn escape via an Istanbul airport, as he fled a corruption trial in Japan

Federal prosecutors in Massachusetts said that former U.S. Green Beret Michael Taylor (left and right) and his son, Peter Taylor, helped Ghosn last year flee to Lebanon to avoid trial in Japan over alleged financial wrongdoing 

Carlos Ghosn, 65, fled japan where he faced corruption charges. He is pictured here arriving at a Tokyo court in April last year

The Taylors are urging a judge to order their immediate release from jail while they challenge Japan’s extradition request, arguing among other things that their health is in danger behind bars because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Their lawyers say the men don’t pose a risk of flight or danger to the community.

The defense says the Taylors were unlawfully arrested and argue they can’t be extradited because ‘bail jumping’ is not a crime in Japan and, therefore, helping someone evade their bail conditions isn’t a crime either.

‘Even assuming the Taylors were properly arrested, holding them without bail on a tenuous charge in a jail that has been plagued by COVID-19 violates their Fifth and Eighth Amendment rights,’ their attorneys told a judge in a filing this week. 

‘This is especially the case because neither is a risk of flight and there are undoubtedly conditions under which they can be released.’

Ghosn has now claimed that Hollywood has approached him for a new movie about his daring escape

Ghosn is now holed up inside a mansion in Beirut with wife Carole and says he plans to fight for justice from the country (pictured, security outside)

Authorities say the Taylors helped sneak Ghosn out of the Japan on a private jet with former Nissan boss tucked away in a large box.  

The flight went first to Turkey, then to Lebanon, where Ghosn has citizenship but which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

Ghosn said he fled because he could not expect a fair trial, was subjected to unfair conditions in detention and was barred from meeting his wife under his bail conditions. 

Ghosn has said he is innocent of allegations he under-reported his future income and committed a breach of trust by diverting Nissan money for his personal gain.    

Ghosn fled to his home in Lebanon (pictured) where he joined his wife after fleeing Japan 

Businessman Carlos Ghosn – who escaped by hiding in these music cases – said he had no choice but to flee Japan because he claimed he had no chance of a fair trial

Turkish police officers escort suspects, accused of involvement of Nissan’s former CEO Carlos Ghosn passage through Istanbul, after he fled Japan, in Istanbul, Friday, Jan. 3, 2020

Despite the father and son’s pleas, a US judge said she is unlikely to release the pair.   

At yesterday’s hearing in Boston, U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani said she was ‘anticipating’ denying expedited bail to the Taylor’s, who are being housed at the suburban Norfolk County Correctional Centre. 

Another aspect to their defence is the elevated risks they face since 36 inmates and staff tested positive for Covid-19 at their jail. 

The defence argues that Michael is at elevated risk because part of his left lung had been removed.

Ghosn had been under house arrest in Japan on financial crimes charges until late December, when he was smuggled in a large black box to a private jet and flown to Beirut, his childhood home.

Carlos Ghosn was pictured celebrating New Year’s Eve with wife Carole (right) in Beirut after he managed to escape from house arrest in Japan

The residence of former auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn is seen in Tokyo on January 3

Lebanon has no extradition treaty with Japan. Prosecutors on Tuesday said Ghosn wired £683,800 to a company co-managed by Peter Taylor two months before the escape.

At Wednesday’s hearing, federal prosecutor Stephen Hassink said the Taylors’ multiple property and familial ties to Lebanon justified their detention.

‘These two defendants present probably the greatest risk not only of fleeing, but also being successful in that flight that I’ve certainly seen in my time arguing for detention,’ Hassink said.

Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for the Taylors, countered that jail was too great a health risk.

‘I am not going to be the Dr. Fauci telling Mr. Hassink what the risks are’ of incarceration, Lowell said, referring to top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci. ‘What we do know is that prisons have been incubators.’  

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