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No bail for men awaiting extradition to Japan on charges they smuggled a disgraced auto exec out of that country in a box

A federal judge today ordered Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Maxwell Taylor, held at the Norfolk County jail as they await extradition hearings on a request from Japan to have them shipped there to face trial on charges they helped smuggle Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn out of the country in a large black box so he could avoid his own trial for alleged financial crimes.

US District Court Magistrate Judge Donald Cabell ruled the two Harvard men failed to make the case that they have a good chance of beating the case against them and that the crime they're charged with isn't really all that bad anyway, so they deserve to be let out on bail because there's no reason for them to try to run away. He also rejected an argument Michael Taylor in particular has reasons to be allowed out because, as a 59-year-old man missing part of a lung, he faces a particular risk should he come down with Covid-19 while awaiting the hearings.

Relying on an apparently translated copy of the Japanese law on bail jumping, Cabell ruled he was not convinced the Taylors have an unbeatable case. And while the three-year maximum sentence isn't, all things considered, that bad, and while, yes, the Taylors returned to the US from Lebanon - to which they'd had Ghosn flown because it has no extradition treaty with Japan, Cabell wrote the Taylors' own alleged actions made clear just how readily they might seek to flee should they be released on bail:

Mr. Taylor is alleged to have used his skills and experience to plan and execute a most intricate, sophisticated, and deceptive scheme spanning several countries and most surely requiring massive expenditures of time and money. Even assuming Mr. Taylor now sincerely harbors a belief that he is not likely to be convicted or face a serious term of incarceration if extradited and convicted, and would intend to spend his time caring for his stepfather, those factors do not come close to mitigating the risk that would otherwise be posed by his release, particularly where he has strong ties to Lebanon and apparently has (along with Peter Taylor) substantial resources that could be exploited, including approximately $860,000 Ghosn appears to have wired in October 2019 to a limited liability corporation controlled by Peter Taylor and his brother. In light of these facts and the spectacular allegations underlying the Japanese case, the respondent does not merit the benefit of any doubt.

He made similar findings about Taylor fils.

As for the dreaded virus, Cabell ruled Taylor did not provide any proof he was even at risk of contracting the virus, that, in fact, no prisoners or detainees in the jail wing he's in have been diagnosed with the virus.

Innocent, etc.

PDF icon Complete ruling179.17 KB