The recent economic downturn caused many people to lose a substantial amount of wealth. The recession even impacted rich people like Seattle-area real-estate magnate Michael Mastro, who incurred a whopping $250 million in debt to various unsecured creditors.
Mastro and his wife Linda sought bankruptcy protection, meaning that many of his investors and creditors would only get pennies on the dollar for the debts owed to them. As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, a judge ordered Mastro and his wife to turn over a pair of diamond rings valued at $1.4 million. The Mastros failed to do so, and a warrant was issued for their arrest on contempt of court charges in June of last year.
But the Mastros disappeared and no one knew where they had gone.
However, the U.S. Attorney's Office has reportedly unsealed a criminal complaint listing six counts of bankruptcy fraud, alleging that the couple failed to disclose a bank account to the bankruptcy court and then proceeded to use it to run up $285,000 in expenses.Given this complaint, the Mastros may possibly either be extradited or deported from France, depending on his residency status there. They would then have to be indicted by a grand jury before they could be tried on the bankruptcy fraud charges. Either way, they are unlikely to garner much support or empathy from creditors - or others who chose to address their debts rather than hide from them.
The world used to be a larger place and clients who left the jurisdiction of the court would not be found. Now with Interstate Compacts holding drivers licenses in suspension and increased digital data being shared by more and more law enforcement agencies people aren't gone long.