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Originally published May 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM | Page modified May 17, 2013 at 6:43 PM

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Seized Mastro jewelry valued at $3 million

Nearly 300 pieces of jewelry seized in France last year from fugitive Seattle real-estate developer Michael Mastro and his wife are worth more than $3 million, according to a report Thursday by the court-appointed trustee in Mastro’s bankruptcy case.

Seattle Times business reporter

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Nearly 300 pieces of jewelry seized in France last year from fugitive Seattle real-estate developer Michael Mastro and his wife are worth more than $3 million, according to a report Thursday by the court-appointed trustee in Mastro’s bankruptcy case.

James Rigby, the court-appointed trustee in the bankruptcy case, had the jewelry evaluated and filed an 82-page jewelry-appraisal report with the court on Thursday.

The collection includes diamonds, pearls, gold earrings and vintage wristwatches. Some of the unusual pieces: a 14-carat gold brooch weighing 163.9 grams in the shape of “a running cat,” and a diamond-encrusted brooch in the shape of a lizard with a pearl for a head.

Mastro and his wife, Linda, were arrested last October in Annecy, France, and are fighting extradition. A federal grand jury in Seattle has indicted them on 43 counts of bankruptcy fraud and money laundering.

The collection includes two large diamond rings — a 27.8-carat pear-shaped diamond and a 15.93-carat round diamond — that the Mastros were ordered to turn over to the bankruptcy estate.

The FBI retains custody of the jewelry. Rigby said he is in discussions with the Justice Department to recover the jewelry, sell it and pay Mastro’s creditors.

The trustee said his office has a $9.1 million judgment against Mastro.

Michael Mastro was a major Seattle real-estate developer and lender for 40 years until the 2008 crash unraveled his empire. He filed for bankruptcy in July 2009, with about $250 million in debts to unsecured creditors.

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

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