Miss. Court Sentences Little to 3 Years in Frankel Scam

July 5, 2005

Thurston Little, a prominent Mississippi real estate developer already serving time in federal prison in Massachusetts, has been sentenced to three years for his role in money laundering and bank fraud in the Martin Frankel international insurance scam.

Last week, Little, 72, was ordered by Chief U.S. Judge Glen H. Davis to pay more than $1 million in restitution for one of the loans that hasn’t been repaid to the FDIC after the failure of the Bank of Falkner. Little waived indictment and pleaded guilty last November.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Roberts told the Clarion-Ledger that Little’s sentence is to run concurrent with the federal sentence he is now serving at a prison in Massachusetts.

Last October, a federal court in Connecticut sentenced Little to two years in prison and ordered him to pay more than $5.2 million in restitution on a two-count indictment charging him with money laundering and conspiracy to defraud, promote bribery and make false statements to a regulatory agency. He pled guilty to the charges in February.

Prosecutors said Frankel hired Little—the brother of Senate President Pro Tempore Travis Little — because of his political connections to state insurance regulators. Prosecutors said Thurston Little lied to regulators.

Frankel bought the insurance companies through a trust he set up to hide his involvement.

While claiming he was investing the companies’ assets, Frankel instead stole the money to finance a lavish lifestyle that included a two-house compound in Greenwich, Conn., luxury cars and several girlfriends, investigators Associated Press reports said.

Frankel fled the county in May 1999 shortly after a meeting with Mississippi regulators. He was arrested in Germany four months later and pleaded guilty to 24 counts of fraud and racketeering in 2002. Frankel was sentenced this past December to more than 16 years in prison.

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