U.S. marshals arrested 59-year-old Michael L. Taylor and his 27-year-old son Peter M. Taylor at their Babbitt Lane home at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 20. The Taylors are suspected of helping former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan to avoid trial for financial crimes. Last December they allegedly smuggled Ghosn past Japanese airport security and onto a private jet in a large black case like those used for audio equipment.
After allegedly accompanying Ghosn to Turkey, Michael Taylor went to Beirut, Lebanon, and remained there until February, when he returned to Massachusetts, according to court documents cited by the Wall Street Journal. Peter Taylor came back to the United States in late March, the documents said.
The Taylors were arrested on the basis of warrants issued by a Japanese court. Japan has 45 days from the date of the arrest to issue a formal request for the Taylors’ extradition. The decision on whether to grant that request would be up to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. If the Taylors are extradi-ted and convicted, they could each face up to four years in Japanese prison.
According to previous news reports in The Boston Globe and elsewhere, Michael Taylor is a former Green Beret and once headed a Boston-based security consulting firm. He helped in the 2009 rescue of a New York Times reporter who had been kidnapped by the Taliban, as well as several other international rescues. In 2015, Taylor pleaded guilty to bribing an FBI agent to obstruct an investigation into a kickback scheme and was imprisoned for 19 months. He and his wife have owned their Babbitt Lane house since 1990, raising three sons there. Taylor had the reputation of being a helpful neighbor, the Globe reported.
In an afternoon conference that took place the same day as the Taylors’ arrest, a federal judge ordered them held at the Norfolk County Correctional Center in Dedham pending a bail hearing. A federal prosecutor argued that the Taylors should remain in custody because they have both the skills and the incentive to flee abroad if they are released on bail.