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Originally published November 20, 2013 at 4:36 PM | Page modified November 21, 2013 at 6:32 PM

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Mastro story featured on CNBC’s ‘American Greed’

The highly dramatized series takes a look at developer Michael Mastro and his wife Linda, now living in France.

Seattle Times business reporter

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CNBC’s “American Greed: The Fugitives” airs Thursday night at 10 p.m. Pacific with the story of disgraced real-estate magnate Michael Mastro and his wife, Linda.

Three banks forced Mastro, a major Seattle developer and lender, into bankruptcy in 2009. Authorities called it the largest personal bankruptcy in state history, with debts to unsecured creditors estimated at $250 million.

After a bankruptcy judge ordered them in June 2011 to turn over two giant diamond rings, the Mastros fled the country.

The Mastros were arrested in France in October 2012 and faced more than 40 counts of bankruptcy fraud and money laundering if extradited to the United States.

Instead, the Mastros will apparently live free in France for the rest of their lives: Earlier this year, a French court ruled on humanitarian grounds that the couple could not be extradited, and French prosecutors decided not to appeal the ruling.

The diamonds, however, are now in U.S. authorities’ hands.

CNBC posted clips from the episode online that include interviews with Mastro nemesis James Rigby, the court-appointed trustee in the bankruptcy case, and some of Mastro’s creditors.

Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or On Twitter @sbhatt

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