The Tokyo district court on Monday sentenced Michael Taylor and his son Peter to two years and one year and eight months respectively, for helping ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn escape the country, the Kyodo news agency reported on Monday.
The Taylors admitted their guilt in June. Michael and Peter Taylor, aged 60 and 28, were accused of helping Ghosn, who was under house arrest, to flee Japan in a luggage box on a private jet for Lebanon in December 2019 to avoid prosecution. A year before, the Japanese police detained the former Nissan chief suspected of concealing his incomes worth 9.1 billion yen ($86 million).
The Taylors were arrested in Massachusetts in 2020 and extradited to Japan in March. During their trial they apologized, saying they had been misled by Ghosn about Japan’s criminal justice system. Michael Taylor sobbed and said he was “broke,” denying they had benefited monetarily because the $1.3 million (€1.1 million) prosecutors said Ghosn paid them just covered expenses.
The maximum penalty in Japan for helping a criminal is three years in prison. Prosecutors had demanded a sentence of two years and 10 months for Michael Taylor and two years and six months for his son.
The Taylors’ defense had argued for suspended sentences for the two, who spent 10 months in custody in the U.S. before their extradition.
In December 2019, Ghosn left his home in Tokyo and took a bullet train to Osaka. At a hotel there, he hid in big box supposedly containing audio equipment, that had air holes punched in it so he could breathe, according to prosecutors.
In early March, the Taylors were extradited from the United States to Japan, following the latter’s order to arrest the two for violating border crossing rules and assisting Ghosn’s escape. Peter had received 144 million yen from the Ghosn for their help, according to documents, presented to a US court before the extradition.