Carlos Ghosn News Monitor
Pedestrians walk in front of a Japanese monitor showing a broadcast of ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn. Ghosn currently lives in Lebanon, which does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
  • Michael Taylor and his son Peter pleaded guilty to helping ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn escape Japan.
  • Prosecutors say Ghosn, who faces charges of financial misconduct, was the brains behind his escape in a box of musical instruments.
  • Michael Taylor previously ran a company that helped people escape from complex issues overseas, Vanity Fair reported.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former US special forces veteran Michael Taylor, 60, and his son Peter, 28, pleaded guilty on Monday to helping ex-Nissan Motor chief Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan in a box aboard a private jet.

The plan, prosecutors say, was Ghosn's idea, Nikkei Asia reported, and one he joked about as a "mission impossible" during a post-escape press conference in Beirut in January 2020.

Ghosn, 67, currently lives in exile in his childhood home in Lebanon, likely chosen because it does not have an extradition agreement with Japan. He faces charges of financial misconduct that say he under-reported his pay package for five years, tried to get Nissan to cover his personal foreign exchange losses, and skimmed an additional $5 million from the motor company.

The ex-Nissan chief was initially picked up by Japanese authorities on the charges in April 2019 but was able to post the $8.9 million bail. While he was out on bail, prosecutors say he began hatching his escape plan with Michael Taylor and his son.

According to prosecutors, Ghosn was connected to the Taylors via his wife Carole, who met the former Green Beret during a trip to Lebanon, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Though his electronic communication was limited while on bail, Ghosn was able to keep in touch with the Taylors on an unauthorized phone via an encrypted messaging app, prosecutors said, according to the Nikkei.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the Taylors arranged to smuggle Ghosn in a box designed to carry musical instruments from Japan's western Kansai International Airport in Osaka to Turkey.

The plan, according to the Nikkei, was developed during Peter Taylor's trips to Tokyo to meet with Ghosn during the latter half of 2019. Ghosn paid around $1.3 million to the younger Taylor's internet marketing firm, the Nikkei said.

The Japanese daily also reported that according to Michael Taylor's oral testimony, Ghosn emerged from the box as the jet flew to Turkey and did not even offer thanks to the Taylors once he had escaped Japan's borders.

According to a July 2020 Vanity Fair article, Michael Taylor used to run a private military contractor called American International Security Corporation that helped dozens of clients escape complex situations overseas and charged between $20,000 to $2 million per job.

Father and son were arrested by US agents in Massachusetts in May last year and were extradited to Japan this March after a months-long legal battle.

Both Taylors said in court on Monday that the prosecution's summary of events was true. Sentencing for the pair will come after a second trial session scheduled late June, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Read the original article on Insider