An appeals court in France has ruled that it is not inclined to extradite fugitive real estate developer Michael Mastro, formerly of Medina, unless U.S. authorities can guarantee he will not be jailed pending trial, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported.
Mastro is 87, and extradition treaties apparently provide certain protections against jailing those of advanced age or in delicate health.
“The French court made it very clear they can’t be jailed forever,” Mastro’s criminal attorney in Seattle, Jim Frush, told the PBSJ.
The court in Chambery, France, asked U.S. authorities to provide more information within three months, including guarantees that Mastro will not face any penalties while awaiting trial other than electronic surveillance. The Journal cited a press release from Mastro’s lawyer in France, Thomas Terrier.
Mastro and his wife Linda Mastro, 62, are fighting extradition and face a .
The Mastros reportedly built a real estate empire of some $2 billion, but when the market crashed were left in 2008 with debts of $100 million to family and friends. The couple began transferring assets including their $15 million Medina luxury home, into an Irrevocable Trust, and not telling their investors.
Creditors forced Mastro to file bankruptcy in 2009, and the couple subsequently fled the country.
Earlier this week, a federal judge in Seattle ruled that Linda Mastro must turn over two large diamond rings worth $1.4 million to the bankruptcy estate. U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein ruled Linda Mastro effectively waived her right to appeal when she and her husband fled the country in the summer of 2011.
For the Puget Sound Business Journal story, click here.
- Judge Rules Fugitive Linda Mastro Must Turn Over Big Diamond Rings
- Fugitive Medina Resident Michael Mastro Captured in France
- Michael and Linda Mastro Accused of Stashing Assets in Belize Off-Shore Trust
- Michael and Linda Mastro Hope For Temporary Release by French Court