Michael and Linda Mastro, the Medina couple accused by U.S. federal prosecutors of 43-counts of bankruptcy fraud, hope French authorities release the couple while the U.S. prosecutors pursue extradition, the Puget Sound Business Journal and the Seattle Times reported.
Michael, 87, and Linda, whom the Times reports turns 63 today, Mastro were arrested by French police last month, more than a year after they did not turn over a pair of diamond rings as ordered by a bankruptcy judge.
A French court could decide by Nov. 9 whether to release the couple, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.
The Mastros' French lawyer told the Times that Michael Mastro suffered from a serious head injury in Palm Springs last year, and that the couple went to France to recuperate -- not to flee authorities.
A 2011 Forbes article outlines how Mastro and his wife once put together $2 billion in real estate investments, but were left in 2008 with debts of $100 million owed to family and friends who were investing with them.
According to the Forbes article, the Mastros began to transfer assets, including their luxury homes, including his $15 million Medina home, into an Irrevocable Trust, and not telling their investors.
Creditors forced Mastro to file bankruptcy in 2009, according to the news reports.
Despite the bankruptcy filing, he and his wife continued to go on international vacations and kept their Medina home, according to the Wall Street Journal in 2010.
The 43-count indictment filed against the Mastros last month say that their hidden assets, according to federal prosecutors, included diamond rings, a Rolls Royce automobile and their $15 million Medina home. Federal prosecutors also say they transfered 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.
Seattle Times: Lawyer seeks no jail for Mastro
Puget Sound Business Journal: French court may decide Nov. 9 whether to release the Mastros