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Published: Friday, 3/24/2006

Frankel's 17-year sentence reissued


NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge yesterday ordered former financier and Toledo native Marty Frankel to serve the same sentence he got in 2004 for stealing $200 million from insurance companies - nearly 17 years in a federal prison.

Frankel, 51, was ordered resentenced after a Supreme Court ruling last year gave judges more leeway in their use of sentencing guidelines.

During a brief hearing in U.S. District Court, Judge Ellen Burns said she saw no reason to alter the sentence.

"It seemed to me, that was the appropriate sentence to impose," she said.

Frankel wearing baggy brown prison scrubs and large glasses, listened as Judge Burns reread the sentence.

After court, defense attorney William Koch said the highly publicized case, which inspired two books, made Frankel vulnerable to assaults in prison.

He will be eligible for release in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Frankel was convicted of taking over and looting insurance companies in Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Tennessee.

He bought the insurance firms through a trust set up to hide his involvement, since he was barred from securities trading because of a similar scheme he committed years before in Ohio.

He claimed that he was investing the companies' assets, but instead stole the $200 million to pay for a two-house compound in Greenwich, luxury cars, and several girlfriends.

Frankel fled the country in May, 1999, after a meeting with Mississippi regulators, who questioned his management of several insurers. He was arrested in Germany four months later and pleaded guilty to 24 counts of fraud and racketeering in 2002.

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