Carlos Ghosn wired $860,000 to alleged escape plotters, U.S. says

Carlos Ghosn pictures

Former Nissan Motor CEO Carlos Ghosn transferred over $860,000 in October to a company managed by one of two Massachusetts men arrested over helping Ghosn in fleeing from Japan two months later, U.S. prosecutors said.

Ghosn wired the money in two installments to the company Promote Fox LLC, which is managed by Peter Taylor and one of his brothers, the U.S. government stated in a Tuesday court filing. Taylor and his father, ex-Green Beret Michael, were arrested by U.S. officials in May at the request of the Japanese government, which has been seeking their extradition for allegedly helping Ghosn flee to Lebanon in December. During that time, Ghosn was out on bail awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges which he has rejected.

Tuesday’s filing, based on records included in the official extradition request Japan submitted last week, shows that prosecutors in the U.S. and Japan have a detailed understanding of the plot to smuggle Ghosn from Tokyo. If Michael and Peter Taylor are extradited, the Japanese government would likely present the financial documents together with immigration records and security camera footage mentioned in other court filings to prove the Taylors’ role in the escape.

Michael and Peter Taylor have been trying to get released on bail while a federal magistrate in Boston decides if they are eligible for extradition under the U.S. treaty with Japan. According to prosecutors, the payments from Ghosn reveal the Taylors have the financial means to escape and should be considered flight risks.

According to both U.S. and Japanese authorities, the Taylors crafted a cloak-and-dagger plot that involved smuggling Ghosn onto a private jet inside a large box designed for audio equipment. Federal prosecutors have said that the Taylors’ expertise in high-stakes escapes makes them really “high” flight risks.

The Taylors have already filed an emergency petition seeking their immediate release, arguing that they do not qualify for extradition as helping someone jump bail is not a criminal offense in Japan. They also said they were at risk of contracting the coronavirus while in custody.

Together with the fight against extradition in court, the two men have also mobilized lawyers and lobbyists to enlist the help of Trump administration officials and members of Congress.

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