Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Michael Mastro Update

Lately I have been getting a steady stream of inquiries from people asking me for information about Seattle real estate developer Michael R. Mastro.  I wrote about him in this blog in July 2010.

Mastro has been a Seattle developer legend for decades and very well known for his projects.  But when the market tanked in 2007, Mastro like many others could not pay his bills.  He eventually filed for bankruptcy leaving $325 million of unpaid debts. This is one of the largest bankruptcy filings in the history of Washington State.

The irony, noted by this reporter at the Seattle Times, is that if the banks that forced Mastro into bankruptcy had waited just a bit longer these impatient lenders might have recouped most or all of their money.

But that is just the beginning of the story.

Mastro continued to lead a luxurious lifestyle while at the same time telling a Federal judge he was broke. And he quickly became notorious for his personal spending while simultaneously claiming poverty to the bankruptcy trustee.

$2,900 dinners at Canalis, one of Seattle's most famous and expensive restaurants.

Ski trip vacations to Switzerland and Jackson Hole.

While in bankruptcy Mastro was driving a Rolls Royce costing $8,000 a month in lease payments.

He lived in a $15 million mansion in Medina, WA (very near Bill and Melinda Gates).

Mastro also had time to take more vacations in Paris, Rome, and Palm Springs, CA.

After claiming he had detailed all his assets to the bankruptcy trustee, 10,000 one-ounce silver coins were found behind the furnace in his basement.

Mastro and his wife Linda were ordered to turn over two giant diamond rings worth $1.4 million to the court to satisfy creditors and they didn't.  In fact, they left town when asked for the ice.

Today, the Mastros are fugitives from the U.S Marshals.  No one knows where the Mastros are.  Even their lawyers claim they can't reach their own client and have no idea where he is.

This case is so sad because Mastro is a talented real estate developer.  At the age of 86 he should be working on his magnum opus, the last great project of his storied career.  Instead, we read each day about his mysterious disappearance and all the creditors he has left behind.

I'll post more when I learn more.

And no, I don't know where Michael Mastro is.