Financier Frankel Gets Prison Deal in Exchange for Assets Recovery

December 21, 2005

Martin Frankel, the financier who admitted to a scheme to loot insurance companies in Tennessee and several other states, won’t face additional prison time in an agreement with authorities to help them recover stolen assets.

Williamson County Judge Jeff Bivins sentenced Frankel on Tuesday to 16 years, but said it will run concurrently with a 17-year federal sentence under an agreement among federal and local prosecutors in Tennessee, Mississippi, Connecticut and Arkansas.

Frankel bought the insurance companies through a trust created to hide his involvement. He claimed he was investing the companies’ assets, but instead stole $200 million to finance a two-house compound in Greenwich, luxury cars and several girlfriends.

In 1999, Frankel triggered an international manhunt when he disappeared from his mansion in Greenwich, Conn. He was arrested in Germany four months later.

Frankel was aided by former Franklin businessman John Hackney and Nashville lawyer John Jordan, who both pleaded guilty to racketeering, conspiracy and money laundering charges.

Attorney Graham Matherne, who represented the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, told Bivins Tuesday that Frankel had been helpful in the recovery of looted assets.

“We’ve recovered tens of millions of dollars already as a multistate effort,” Graham said. “We are currently suing people to recover more assets.”

Bivins had postponed sentencing last month because he wanted to make sure that Frankel would cooperate with local authorities.

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