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Con Man to Be Extradited to U.S.

June 24, 2002

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ A convicted con artist wanted for fraud in New York and California decided Monday to waive his extradition hearing and surrender to U.S. authorities.

Christophe Rocancourt _ a French swindler who posed variously as a nonexistent Rockefeller heir, a Formula One race car driver, and a prince _ will be handed over to American authorities in Vancouver and taken to the United States, said his lawyer, Mayland McKimm.

Rocancourt, 34, first will return to New York, where he faces state charges for allegedly cheating a woman of $100,000 and dodging a $19,000 hotel bill in the Hamptons, an upscale resort area on Long Island.

He also is wanted in California for passport fraud and carrying a weapon. He skipped $175,000 bail after his 1998 arrest.

McKimm, who estimated that Rocancourt faces a total of five years in prison on all the charges, said his client ``is looking forward to getting back and dealing with things.″

Rocancourt was arrested more than a year ago in Victoria for defrauding a Vancouver businessman. He spent 14 months in police custody and was ordered to pay $165,000 restitution.

Rocancourt, the subject of articles in Vanity Fair and other publications, has previous convictions in France for forgery, credit card fraud and impersonation.

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