Financier Martin Frankel has been sentenced to almost 17 years in federal prison for embezzling funds from 7 insurance companies he controlled.[@@]
More than 20 charges were lodged against Frankel, including conspiracy, racketeering and wire fraud, by the U.S. attorney in Connecticut.
A group of 5 state regulators said Frankel conspired to defraud policyholders of the 7 companies, including Franklin Protective Life Insurance Company, Franklin, Tenn., and Family Guaranty Life Insurance Company and First National Life Insurance Company of America, both of Jackson, Miss.
Frankel disappeared in May 1999 after insurance officials in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Missouri asked his insurance companies to explain the whereabouts of more than $200 million in missing assets. The companies, which mostly sold funeral policies to low-income people, were controlled by the Thunor Trust, a holding company owned by Frankel.
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In September 1999, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that German authorities had captured the missing financier at a posh Hamburg hotel. The U.S. attorney then had the financier extradited.