Michael Taylor, 60, a US citizen and former member of the US Army Special Forces, and his son Peter Taylor, 28, were sentenced on 19th July 2021 by a court in Tokyo, Japan, for assisting Carlos Ghosn, former boss of Nissan, escape from Japan in December 2019. The pair received sentences of two years and one year, eight months respectively.
Mr. Ghosn, who holds Brazilian, French, and Lebanese nationality, was due to be tried in Japan in 2020 on a number of charges of financial misconduct, including allegations that he had underreported his salary over a five year period, but was smuggled out of Japan by the Taylors, evading Japanese authorities.
Michael Taylor, who is credited with assisting other clients in escape operations, and his son and Peter were reported to have received $1.3m (£950,000) for helping Mr. Ghosn escape to Lebanon, a jurisdiction with which Japan has no extradition treaty. During sentencing, the Tokyo Court made it clear that it considered the actions of the pair to warrant custodial sentences but recognised that the Taylors had shown remorse for their actions, saying that they would receive credit for 90 days already served in Japan and handing down sentences that were overall shorter than those requested by Japanese prosecutors.
Prior to their trial and conviction, Michael and Peter had fought a months’ long legal battle before US courts, seeking to resist a request by Japanese authorities for their extradition, but in February 2021, the US Supreme Court refused a final attempt by the Taylor’s lawyers for a stay. The pair were subsequently extradited, and their arrival in Japan was confirmed by Japanese prosecutors on 2nd March 2021.