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June 19, 2013 at 6:20 AM
Giving up on Mastros and still digging for Hoffa
The U.S. Department of Justice has a curious set of priorities. In the wake of the nation’s most serious economic collapse in decades, the federal government is giving up on pursuit of a Seattle businessman suspected of bankruptcy fraud. Yet the FBI still can find the resources and sustain the inclination to search for the remains of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa.
Michael Mastros and his wife fled to France in 2011. Hoffa has been missing for almost 40 years.
Earlier this month a French court told the U.S. legal system to buzz off. France would not extradite Mastros because of his age and poor health. The federal Department of Justice meekly replied, “OK,” and left the outstanding charges and a federal judge’s arrest warrant flapping in the breeze. The court was going after the Mastros’ assets to help cover a portion of an estimated $250 million in debts.
Hoffa disappeared in 1975 and spent the first decade or so being a punch line for jokes. Apparently the hunt for Hoffa, who has been missing for longer than most federal careers, is a higher priority than financial justice for Mastros’ creditors.