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Former Toledoan and rogue financier Marty Frankel is the subject of the hour-long season television premier tomorrow night of American Greed, a show on cable's CNBC that focuses on the lengths people go to become rich.
Frankel, 52, serving a 16-year federal prison sentence in Texas after pleading guilty to 24 counts of fraud and racketeering in 2002, was convicted of taking over and looting insurance companies in Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Tennessee.
The show details Frankel's crimes, how he used shell companies and trusts to purchase small insurance companies in the southeastern United States and loot them of their assets, spending the money on his lavish lifestyle that included a harem of women.
It also discusses how he went in a short time from living in his parents' West Toledo home and being fired from his first financial job in Toledo to flying in private jets from an exclusive home in Greenwich, Conn.
Frankel fled the country in May, 1999, after a meeting with Mississippi regulators, who questioned his management of several insurers. He will be eligible for release from prison in 2015.
The hour-long show has interviews with a handful of Toledo-area residents concerning Frankel and his exploits, including his high school English teacher and his former boss, John Schulte.
The program will have several shots of Toledo and the surrounding area, including shots of the courthouse, the Frankels' West Toledo home and neighborhood, and the BP refinery in Oregon.
Executive producer Chuck Schaeffer, a native of Michigan, said that although the show usually runs two stories an hour, "They collected so much material on this guy, and it got to be such a dense story, that the only way to tell it was to use the full hour."
American Greed made its debut on CNBC in June. It has 10 episodes this year. The show airs at 9 p.m. tomorrow and again at midnight.
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