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Americans convicted in Japan on Carlos Ghosn’s escape return home

Michael and Peter Taylor said they had been misled by Ghosn, the former Nissan chairman who fled financial misconduct charges in 2019 by hiding in a box.
Carlos Ghosn
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn in Lebanon in 2020. A Japanese court convicted Americans Michael and Peter Taylor in July last year over their involvement in his escape from the country.Hussein Malla / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

TOKYO — An American father and son convicted in Japan on charges of helping former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn escape to Lebanon by hiding in a box have been returned to the U.S., their lawyer said Tuesday.

Michael Taylor, a former Green Beret, was sentenced in July last year in Tokyo District Court to two years in prison, while his son Peter Taylor was sentenced to one year and eight months.

They were convicted of helping a criminal for their involvement in the December 2019 escape of Ghosn, who had been awaiting trial on various financial misconduct charges, including under-reporting his compensation.

The Taylors were arrested in Massachusetts in May 2020, and extradited to Japan in March 2021, though they fought against deportation.

The U.S. and Japan have an extradition treaty, while Lebanon has no extradition treaty with Japan. Ghosn is French-Brazilian of Lebanese ancestry.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons online site lists Michael Taylor as at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles and set for release Jan. 1, 2023.

Paul V. Kelly, the lawyer for the Taylors, said by email that he was in talks with parole officials about an earlier release. Peter Taylor has already been released, and is back with his family in Massachusetts, said Kelly, whose office is based in Boston.

The Japanese Justice Ministry declined to comment. Nissan had no comment.

During their trial in Tokyo, Michael and Peter Taylor apologized and acknowledged guilt, saying they had been misled by Ghosn. They denied they had benefited monetarily because the payment just covered expenses.

Ghosn, who led Nissan Motor Co. for two decades, says he is innocent. He says he fled because he could not expect a fair trial in Japan.