Austria Tuns Over Weiss to U.S. on Fraud Charges

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Thursday, August 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On June 10, 2002, Sholam Weiss, 47, appeared in U.S. District Court in Orlando before U.S. Magistrate Karla Spaulding after Austria turned him over to the U.S. on the previous day. Magistrate Spaulding advised Weiss he was appearing on a warrant issued by U.S. District Judge Patricia Fawsett for his failure to appear in court on October 18, 1999, the day following the start of jury deliberations on the case against him after a nine-month trial. According to a media report, Austrian officials turned over Weiss on the condition that the obstruction of justice charge be dropped because Austria does not recognize that offense. Weiss was sentenced to five years for that crime. Apparently the Austrian Government, when it realize the enormous complexity and amount of work to try Weiss for the crime, which Austria was obligation to do in lieu of extraditing him, may have changed its mind and decided to find a way to extradite Weiss notwithstanding the above-mentioned legal problems and its prior decision to deny extradition.