Man who sold fake Native Art to Seattle customers sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service for violations of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act
French authorities have informed the United States that under French law, there are no grounds to appeal the June 5, 2013 ruling by the French Court of Appeal of Chambery, near Lyon, France, denying the extradition of MICHAEL R. MASTRO, 88, and LINDA A. MASTRO, 63. This concludes the French extradition proceedings in this case.
On October 24, 2012, MICHAEL and LINDA MASTRO, were arrested in France based on a criminal warrant from the Western District of Washington. On November 4, 2012, a federal grand jury in Seattle returned a Superseding indictment charging the MASTROS with a variety of bankruptcy fraud crimes and multiple counts of money laundering. At the request of the United States, French authorities began extradition proceedings in late-December 2012. The MASTROS subsequently contested extradition.
During the extradition proceedings, the French Court requested assurances that if extradited to the United States, the MASTROS would serve no time in jail. The French Court’s request was based on concerns about the health and age of the MASTROS. To address the French Court’s concerns, the United States agreed that if convicted, prosecutors would recommend no more than two years in custody for either of the MASTROS. Prosecutors further assured the French Court that if convicted, the MASTROS would have access to medically appropriate care through the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. In its June 5, 2013 ruling, the French Court decided that these assurances were insufficient and denied extradition.
The United States requested that French authorities appeal the order denying extradition. However, French authorities advised that there are limited grounds for appeal in extradition matters in France. Because the French prosecutor in consultation with the French Justice Ministry determined that there were no grounds for a successful appeal, the French authorities made the decision not to appeal the French Court’s ruling.
MICHAEL R. MASTRO and LINDA A. MASTRO have a continuing obligation to return to the United States to resolve all civil and criminal matters.
The millions of dollars in assets seized from the MASTROS in France, and currently in the custody of the FBI in the United States, are unaffected by the French Court’s ruling.