Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Martin Frankel: Sex, Greed and $200 Million Fraud


Hotel Prem
Hotel Prem

Ensconced in a suite at the posh Hotel Prem in Hamburg, fugitive financier Martin Frankel and Cindy Allison, his female companion for two of the four months he had been on the lam, had just finished the lavish seafood dinner from the fancy La Mer restaurant in the hotel.

Comforted in his plush German hideout by a couple million dollars in diamonds and a quarter of a million in cash, Frankel devoted his time to trying to keep his embezzled fortune from seizure, studying his astrological charts and watching reruns of old movies.

Around 11 P.M., there was a slight noise at the door, as though someone tried to turn the doorknob.

"Do you think they're coming to get me?" he asked Cindy.

"Don't be ridiculous," she chided him.

Martin Frankel arrested in Germany
Martin Frankel arrest-
ed in Germany

Frankel's time had finally run out when two German policemen broke into the room with their guns drawn. Initially, the detectives' attentions were completely focused on Cindy, perhaps because the man in the suite with her seemed such an unlikely subject of a global manhunt.

"I'm the one you're looking for," said the tall, skinny guy with glasses.

This was, indeed, the infamous Martin Frankel, who author J.A. Johnson Jr. describes as having "from his lavish cocoon masterminded one of the largest, most bizarre embezzlement schemes in American history, one that rocked the insurance and investment industries and spanned the globe from the unassuming town of Toledo, Ohio, to the gilded dome of the Vatican."


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