Man wanted over $50 million fraud strikes deal with the US after extradition case collapses

Frank Salvatore Rafaraci travelled to the US of his own volition following an agreement with the American authorities

A planned sitting in an extradition case will not take place tomorrow after the subject flew to the US pursuant to an agreement with the American authorities, after the implosion of the extradition case against him.

Frank Salvatore Rafaraci, a 68-year-old Italian-American man, is understood to have flown to the US of his own volition, after Mr. Justice Giovanni Grixti declared null an appeal filed by the Attorney General against a decision to invalidate Rafaraci’s arrest in Malta.

Today the American authorities have withdrawn their request for Rafaraci’s extradition. Consequently, the Attorney General has also withdrawn proceedings against the man.

He had been wanted by the American authorities to answer charges of having defrauded the United States Government out of some €50 million.

Rafaraci was wanted by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for prosecution on the offences of conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The man had been suspected as a participant in a scheme that used falsified invoices and receipts for equipment and supplies provided to the US Navy and is also alleged to have paid tens of thousands of euro in cash bribes to a US government official in exchange for insider information on future Navy contracts.  

US authorities believe the man and his known associates then laundered illicit funds using shell companies, evading millions of dollars in US taxes.

Lawyers Stefano Filletti, Giannella de Marco, Stephen Tonna Lowell and Mark Refalo represented Rafaraci.

Lawyer Meredith Ebejer appeared for the Office of the Attorney General, assisting police inspectors Omar Zammit and Robinson Mifsud.