Mass. father, son tied to Ghosn escape
Taylor also tied to infamous ‘booze cruise’ in 1999
MICHAEL TAYLOR, a 59-year-old former Green Beret from Massachusetts who has worked as a private security contractor and has ties to government agencies, seems to have a knack for popping up in the middle of questionable undercover operations.
Japanese prosecutors on Thursday issued warrants for Taylor and his son Peter, who are suspected of helping former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn flee the country in December by hiding him inside a piece of luggage.
Ghosn was awaiting trial in Japan on charges of using Nissan resources for his own benefit. He was out on bail when Michael Taylor and an associate allegedly accompanied Ghosn from Tokyo to Osaka, where the executive was hidden in a piece of luggage and smuggled on to a private plane waiting to take him to Turkey. Peter Taylor allegedly played a key role in setting up the escape. Both Taylors are suspected of violating Japan’s immigration-control laws.
Taylor, who once ran American International Security of Boston and more recently ran a vitamin water company, was the focus of a recent profile in the Boston Globe. He was also subject of an article in the now-defunct Boston Phoenix in 1996 that described him as “the untouchable” because of the numerous times he was given a pass on possible criminal violations due to his ties to various government agencies, including the CIA.
CommonWealth reported in 2012 that Taylor had been arrested in 1998 and charged with intercepting phone calls and planting marijuana in the car of a woman whom he had investigated years earlier on behalf of her estranged husband in connection with a custody dispute. “An investigation found Taylor complicit in the planting of the marijuana, though the charges were later reduced to misdemeanor possession,” the story said.The CommonWealth story linked Taylor and his company to an infamous “booze cruise” on Boston Harbor in 1999 that prompted the resignation of Peter Blute, who at the time was running the Massachusetts Port Authority. What made the cruise infamous is that as the boat was docking one of the guests on board suddenly lifted her shirt and exposed herself, yielding a picture that made the cover of the next day’s Boston Herald. The Herald apparently was tipped off about the cruise.
Blute said he felt he had been set-up, and thought Taylor possibly played a role. Blute said he had turned down Taylor’s firm for a $500,000 contract for security consulting at Massport because of Taylor’s checkered past. The CommonWealth story, citing sources, indicated Taylor’s firm had been gathering information on Blute and arranged to follow the cruise in a separate boat and take pictures “of everybody coming off board.” One of those pictures, the story indicated, may have been used by the Herald in a later story on the cruise.