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Judge Rules Fugitive Linda Mastro Must Turn Over Big Diamond Rings

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports a federal judge has ruled that the wife of fugitive Medina real estate mogul Michael Mastro showed "blatant disregard for the authority of the judicial system."

Medina fugitive Linda Mastro, under house arrest in France with her husband former real estate mogul Michael Mastro and fighting extradition, has lost a bid to keep two diamond rings worth $1.4 million, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports.

Linda Mastro, 62, appealed a U.S.Bankruptcy Court ruling that the couple turn over all the assets they had compiled before their 2009 bankruptcy to the bankruptcy estate.

But on Feb. 16 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, the Journal reports.

Michael Mastro, 87, and his wife are fighting extradition and face a 43-count federal indictment on bankruptcy fraud and money laundering charges, handed down by a Seattle grand jury last October.

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.

The two rings were among dozens of pieces of jewelry worth about $3 million found in the Mastros’ possession in France.

“Such blatant disregard for the authority of the judicial system renders her ineligible to pursue an appeal from the orders she is flouting,” Rothstein said of Linda Mastro, according to the Journal.

According to federal prosecutors, the Mastros’ hidden assets included the diamond rings, a Rolls Royce automobile and their Medina home. Federal prosecutors also say they transferred money from their hidden bank accounts and paid for car loans for a 2006 Range Rover, a 2007 Bentley Continental, and a 2008 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe; household expenses; legal expenses; department stores purchases; and a bulk gold coin purchase.

A day after the federal indictment was handed down, the Mastros were caught in the French Alps on a warrant based on six counts related to bankruptcy fraud.

Online

Puget Sound Business Journal: Linda Mastro loses legal gambit to keep diamond rings

Earlier coverage

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

WendyB February 20, 2013 at 03:23 PM
"The couple began transferring assets including their $15 million Medina luxury home, into an Irrevocable Trust, and not telling their investors." Yes, they did that. They did that to members of my family. Screw you, Mastros.
Venice Buhain February 22, 2013 at 08:52 PM
MomInWA, there's been an update in the case: http://patch.com/A-2lcH

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