N.Y. Lawyer Involved in Frankel Insurance Scheme is Sentenced

May 27, 2005

Kevin O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Thomas Bolan, 80, of Flushing, New York, was sentenced this week for his role in Martin Frankel’s multi-million dollar fraud against several insurance companies.

In proceedings in New Haven, Senior United States District Judge Ellen Burns sentenced Bolan to one year of probation and ordered him to pay a fine in the amount of $10,000. On Nov. 30, 2004, Bolan pleaded guilty to a one-count Information charging him with misprision of a felony.

According to statements made in various court proceedings, including his earlier guilty plea and his testimony in a Frankel-related trial, in 1998, Bolan, a New York attorney, was introduced to Martin Frankel as “David Rosse,” a wealthy individual who had an interest in furthering the work of the Catholic Church through charitable donations. Frankel wanted to establish a foundation, within and under the auspices of the Vatican. The Foundation would acquire insurance companies and, when the companies were sold, the profits would belong to the Church.

Bolan contacted Father Peter Jacobs who, in turn, recruited Monsignor Emilio Colagiovanni, the President of the Monitor Ecclesiasticus Foundation (MEF), to explore this effort. Bolan, Jacobs and Colagiovanni traveled to Connecticut to meet with Frankel, at which time Frankel offered to donate a large amount of money to the Catholic Church and sought to establish a foundation at the Vatican.

As part of the scheme, Frankel (who continued using the alias “David Rosse” in dealing with Bolan) eventually offered to donate $5,000,000 to the MEF, which the organization could use for charitable purposes, if the MEF would also accept a $50,000,000 donation that Frankel, solely, would control and invest on behalf of the MEF. Frankel’s involvement with and control over the funds of the foundation was to remain concealed.

Bolan reportedly agreed to serve as a “Trustee” of the Saint Francis of Assisi Foundation (“SFAF”), a Frankel-controlled Trust formed in the British Virgin Islands and not affiliated with the Vatican. On occasion, Bolan also reportedly acted as the attorney for the SFAF. Although he was a “Trustee,” Bolan had no control or input as to the business of the SFAF. Sole control and funding of the SFAF came from Frankel.

Bolan reportedly understood that “David Rosse” wanted to conceal his funding of this foundation by transferring funds from his own accounts, through an account in the name of the MEF, to accounts of the SFAF, with his ultimate use of the funds being the purchase of United States insurance companies. The SFAF attempted to, unsuccessfully, acquire two insurance companies, the Capitol Life Insurance Company, of Colorado, and Western United Life Assurance Company, of Washington.

In April 1999, Bolan, Jacobs, Colagiovanni and others traveled to Mississippi to meet with insurance company and Mississippi Insurance Department officials. Before meeting with Mississippi Insurance Department officials, Jacobs and Colagiovanni reportedly both signed affidavits that falsely stated that the MEF granted and transferred to the SFAF more than $1.2 billion.

While at the meeting with Mississippi Insurance Department officials on April 29, 1999, Colagiovanni falsely stated that the funds the MEF had provided the SFAF had come from the Vatican. Bolan, acting as a Trustee of the SFAF, was present at this meeting. In pleading guilty, Bolan reportedly admitted that he knew that these representations regarding the funding, nature and control of the SFAF were false, yet he concealed this knowledge from Insurance Department officials and law enforcement.

In May 2002, Martin Frankel pleaded guilty to 24 counts of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, RICO forfeiture, securities fraud and wire fraud. In December 2004, Frankel was sentenced by Judge Burns to 200 months of imprisonment.

In September 2002, Colagiovanni pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering and, on September 9, 2004, Judge Burns ordered him to pay a fine in the amount of $15,000.

On Oct. 13, 2004, Jacobs also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and was immediately sentenced to five years of probation.

Topics USA New York Fraud Mississippi Church

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