Frankel Pleads Not Guilty

March 13, 2001

Financier Martin Frankel pleaded not guilty Monday to a string of charges, including fraud.

Frankel was arraigned in U.S. District Court in New Haven, Conn., following his extradition on March 2 from Germany, where he served 17 months of a three-year sentence for evading tax on smuggled diamonds and possessing nine passports.

Frankel’s U.S. charges include securities fraud, racketeering and conspiracy. Jury selection has been tentatively scheduled for September. Meanwhile, Frankel is being held without bond at a state prison in Suffield, Conn. Frankel faces 20 years maximum for each count of conspiracy and racketeering charges, five years on wire fraud, 20 years on each money laundering charge and 10 years on the securities fraud charges for allegedly damaging insurance companies in five states: Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Thus far, prosecutors say $30 million in cash and property in the United States has been seized, along with $30 million in assets seized or frozen overseas.

Frankel tried to break out of his Hamburg jail Feb. 27 while awaiting extradition. He made the attempt by filing away the bars of his prison cell with a sharp piece of wire.

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