Change Your Life!
Ex-financier Frankel in US
March 3, 2001
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Former fugitive financier Martin Frankel arrived Friday in the United States from Germany to face dozens of state and federal charges for defrauding insurance companies in five states.
Frankel, 46, arrived Friday evening at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and was whisked away by U.S. marshals.
He will be held at an undisclosed location in Connecticut until his arraignment, scheduled for noon Monday in New Haven, Deputy U.S. Marshal Gary Dorsey said. Jury selection in his trial is tentatively set for April 4.
Frankel had been jailed in Hamburg, Germany, since his 1999 arrest in a waterfront hotel.
The manhunt began that May, four months earlier, when firefighters responding to an automatic alarm found a blazing filing cabinet and two fireplaces stuffed with burning documents in Frankel's Greenwich, Conn., mansion.
Among the discoveries, investigators say: A to-do list (item No. 1: ``launder money''), and astrological charts designed to answer such pressing questions as ``Will I go to prison?'' Frankel was nowhere to be found.
He has spent the last 18 months in jail in Hamburg. In a failed escape attempt Tuesday evening, Frankel was caught trying to saw through his cell window bars with a small wire with the help of a fellow inmate.
German authorities agreed in December to extradite him after he was eligible for parole as soon as he had served half his three-year sentence there on charges for using fake passports and tax evasion.
Insurance regulators in Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee are seeking more than $600 million in damages against Frankel, who is accused of bilking insurance companies out of $200 million. At least three associates have pleaded guilty to charges relating to his alleged money laundering.
During the international manhunt, Frankel is also known to have stayed in Rome with his female business manager. He spent most his time in a small apartment, keeping away from tourist sites and amusing himself by watching rented videotapes.
His next known stop was Hamburg, where he was accompanied by another woman when he checked into the stately Hotel Prem under an alias. He reportedly paid cash in advance for a two-month stay.
FBI investigators chased trails around the world until finally getting a tip that placed Frankel in Hamburg, where he was arrested in his hotel room by German federal police. He was found with 547 diamonds, fake passports and receipts from his life on the run.
Frankel has said he wanted to stay in Germany, but his appeal on the German charges failed. He has tried to paint his case as an issue of human rights, appealing to Europeans' opposition to the death penalty — saying the potential life sentence he faces in the United States amounts to a death sentence.
``Obviously, I'd rather stay in Germany,'' Frankel said during a court hearing last summer.
In the only media interview he's given since his arrest, Frankel said he wanted to make money to help the problem of world hunger.