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IN RE LOCATELLI

March 6, 1979

In the Matter of the Extradition of Sergio LOCATELLI, a/k/a "Sergio Luigi Locatelli", a/k/a "Guido Zaccaria"


The opinion of the court was delivered by: DUFFY

The Government of Switzerland has formally demanded the extradition of Sergio Locatelli in order that he may stand trial there for a series of business-related crimes allegedly committed by him between 1971 and 1976. The instant proceedings *fn1" were begun by the United States on behalf of the Swiss Government pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3184. *fn2"

On February 20, 1979 an extradition hearing was held before me, as required under § 3184, to determine whether the evidence presented by the Swiss Government to sustain the charged offenses under the applicable treaty of extradition was sufficient to mandate issuance of a certificate of extradition. Based upon the documents submitted and the arguments presented, including the unsworn testimony of Sergio Locatelli, I find that all the terms of the treaty have been met and there is more than sufficient evidence, to which no viable explanation was offered to warrant issuance of the certificate.

Sergio Locatelli is apparently a notorious figure in the world of documentary films. He claimed that he has, during his career, produced a number of documentaries dealing with the plight of the migrant worker. In this regard, he allegedly has critically focused much of his attention upon the poor treatment of Italian migrant workers in his native Switzerland.

 The specific charges lodged by the Swiss Government against Locatelli may be separated into three categories:

 (1) Fraud and forgery involving two business loans to which one Alfred de Schulthess was guarantor;

 (2) Fraud perpetrated against two Swiss banks in the unauthorized transfer of funds; and

 (3) Fraud involving the use of an American Express Company credit card without intending to pay the charges incurred.

 Alfred de Schulthess:

 Concerning his dealings with de Schulthess, Locatelli is charged with having fraudulently induced de Schulthess by the use of certain forged documents to guarantee two loans which Locatelli said were to be used to finance commissioned television films. The films, however, were apparently never commissioned and upon Locatelli's default on the loans, de Schulthess was left to make good for the monies.

 The conduct alleged is in violation of Articles 148 and 251 of the Swiss Penal Code. *fn3"

 Bank Frauds:

 Here Locatelli is charged with attempted fraud, in violation of Articles 21, 22 *fn4" and 148 of the Swiss Penal Code, against two Swiss banks. The fraud against the first bank consisted of Locatelli's impersonating a bank official and directing the transfer of substantial funds to the account of Mr. Della Valle. Apparently Locatelli owed Della Valle a substantial amount of money and rather than pay it from his own funds he, disguised as a bank official, authorized repayment with the bank's funds.

 The second incident involved a similar attempt by Locatelli to defraud a bank. Here, however, Locatelli, again impersonating a bank official, authorized the withdrawal of substantial funds by one Emilio Bo. When Mr. Bo attempted to withdraw the funds, he was arrested by Swiss ...


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