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Scam artist Bruce Friedman dies in French prison

Former Sherman Oaks money manager Bruce Fred Friedman has died in French custody while awaiting extradition to Los Angeles on charges related to an alleged $228-million investment scam.

An official at the US Embassy in Paris confirmed Friedman’s death Monday but declined to say when or how he died. Friedman, 62, had been in a French prison since his arrest there in 2010.  Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles had accused Friedman of defrauding hundreds of people by promising to invest in real estate but instead spending it on luxury cars, expensive homes, jewelry and travel for himself.

Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, said prosecutors probably would move to dismiss charges against Friedman once they received a death certificate.