Business / Corporate

U.S. alleges Ghosn's son paid $500,000 in cryptocurrency to man who aided escape from Japan

Kyodo

The son of former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn made a $500,000 cryptocurrency payment to one of two Americans accused of aiding the former auto tycoon’s escape from Japan last December, documents filed by U.S. prosecutors showed Thursday.

The documents, submitted to a federal court in Massachusetts, said Anthony Ghosn sent Peter Taylor, 27, the money in installments between January and May via a platform called Coinbase.

In May, U.S. authorities arrested Peter Taylor and his father Michael, a 59-year-old former Green Beret, for allegedly smuggling Ghosn out of Japan in a box aboard a private jet, allowing him to reach Lebanon before facing trial over alleged financial misconduct.

The filing, made by prosecutors to counter a bail request by the men, said the Ghosn family sent over $1.3 million in total, including the cryptocurrency payment, to the Taylors.

U.S. prosecutors previously alleged the former auto executive had wired $862,500 to a company related to the Taylors.

Japanese prosecutors said on July 3 that they are asking the United States government to extradite the Taylors based on a bilateral treaty.

The special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office has obtained arrest warrants for the pair regarding their alleged involvement in Ghosn’s dramatic December escape to his childhood home via Turkey.

The latest document said the Taylors, whose lawyers have sought their release on bail, remain a flight risk and need to be detained.

Ghosn, who headed Nissan for nearly two decades, faced trial in Japan for allegedly misusing company funds and understating his remuneration by billions of yen over a period of years.

The 66-year-old has denied the allegations and said he fled Japan to escape what he described as its “rigged” justice system.

The government has requested Ghosn’s extradition through Interpol, but the Lebanese government has indicated it is unlikely to hand him over. Japan does not have an extradition treaty with Lebanon.

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