Lawyer: France won’t return Mastros to U.S. if jail looms

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A French court has ruled that former Seattle real-estate magnate Michael R. Mastro and his wife, Linda, can’t be extradited to the U.S. unless American authorities agree they won’t be imprisoned, the Mastros’ French lawyer said Friday.

The Mastros have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle on 43 counts of bankruptcy fraud and money laundering. They were arrested in France in October, 16 months after fleeing the U.S. Mastro is a developer who in 2009 was forced into one of the biggest bankruptcies in state history, with more than $570 million in liabilities.

Locally, Mastro was involved in at least one Clark County project, the never-built Vancouver shopping center project called Eastgate Plaza, planned with an anchor Walmart store south of Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard between 137th and 147th avenues. One of Mastro’s companies, Sifton/Orchards, bought out the Eastgate property in 2007 for $14.3 million.