Carlos Ghosn’s son sent about $500,000 in bitcoin earlier this year to one of the Americans accused of helping the ex-Nissan CEO flee house arrest, according to the feds.
Anthony Ghosn made the cryptocurrency payments over about four months to Peter Taylor after he and his father — former Green Beret Michael Taylor — allegedly ferried Carlos Ghosn from Tokyo, where he was facing criminal charges, to Lebanon where he is from, federal prosecutors said in a Wednesday court filing.
The feds cited the money as evidence that the Taylors should remain behind bars while they await extradition to Japan over their alleged role in the escape, given that they “now have access to Ghosn’s vast resources with which to flee.”
Anthony Ghosn sent the first payment on Jan. 21, less than a month after the Taylors allegedly carried out the complex caper, which captured attention worldwide, according to records the feds obtained from Coinbase, a digital currency exchange. The last payment worth more than $100,000 arrived on May 15 — five days before the father-son duo was arrested, the records show.
Carlos Ghosn himself wired nearly $900,000 to a company controlled by Peter Taylor leading up to the escape operation last year, prosecutors alleged earlier this month.
Prosecutors detailed the bitcoin payments in response to a lawsuit the Taylors filed asking a judge to release them from jail while Japan tries to extradite them on allegations that they helped Carlos Ghosn skip bail while he was awaiting trial on financial-crime charges. Ghosn, 66, has denied the criminal allegations and said he fled “persecution.”
In arguing against the Taylors’ release, the feds said they own a home and have been expanding their business in Lebanon, where Ghosn has been camped out since December. Lebanon does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.
“Petitioners can remain comfortably in Lebanon for an indefinite period of time to avoid the justice systems of Japan and the United States,” prosecutors said in the filing.
An attorney for the Taylors declined to comment Friday. A hearing in their lawsuit is scheduled for Tuesday morning.