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Business Law Podcast

Michael Mastro – A Debtor’s Stylish French Exile

Elizabeth Gunn

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In this episode, learn how a debtor was forced into bankruptcy only to flee to France with his wife, a land rover, their beloved dogs…and some notorious diamonds. What do you do when your lavish lifestyle, complete with designer clothes, giant diamond rings, and high-end cars, is brought crashing down by an involuntary bankruptcy petition?

In the case of the once highly successful developer Michael Mastro, you hide everything you can from the reach of the Courts and flee to Europe with your wife, dogs, and a Land Rover. A central part of this case involved two missing diamonds, one of 27.8 carats and one of 15.93 carats, which the FBI eventually recovered.  In this episode, “Bad Boys of Bankruptcy” host Judge Elizabeth Gunn sits down with the chapter 7 Trustee James Rigby; Thomas Buford, the then assistant U.S. Trustee; and Aimee Willig, one of the trustee’s counsels, to discuss the broad reach of bankruptcy law when attempting to pull assets back into the estate.