The State May Record This Call
All tape recordings transcribed in this
article are on file at the offices of this magazine as source
material. Some profanities have been censored from the transcripts.
All calls to the author by Marty Frankel were placed from the
Walker RSMU prison in Suffield Connecticut from March 11 to May
SECTION TITLE: "Rich Man, Poor Man"
DATE: Thursday, November 30, 2000
PLACE: A study room at an unnamed state university
I never knew that I was a multi-millionaire
and neither did Evita, my wife. The documents filed with the
US Treasury Department listed my net worth at some $43 million.
It was unbelievably bizarre. It seems that for the past twelve
years that there were two "me's", one was a humble,
honest factory worker at a major automobile corporation and the
other was a multi-millionaire. Both "me's" lived at
the same address and had the same social security number. Nobody
at Treasury noticed the discrepancy until Marty Frankel had been
captured in Germany in September of 1999. Furthermore, nobody
informed me of this state of affairs until November 2000. It
was most curious and I was understandably suspicious.
"Baby," Evita said with a laugh, "You've been holding out on me."
One suspects things, fears things and wonders
of such things in everyday life. Some people fear that their
hair is falling out, others fear the onset of cancer. As for
my own fears, I feared that I might be an innocent victim of
the government/media feeding frenzy in the unfolding Frankel
scandal. As the IRS agent, Larry Marini pulled each document
out of his briefcase, the horrible realization of my worst fears
began to crystallize. According to the documents, I owned a bank
in Tennessee, a banking conglomerate called South East Banking
Association and an engineering firm called Ohio Engineering Consultants.
All of this was news to me and I never saw any of the documents
the IRS agent and the FBI agent held in front of me. They turned
the pages as I read them because I refused to put my fingerprints
on any paper that these men held in front of me.
"You're really out there, Pavlito," the
FBI agent, Gary Schade (pronounced "Shay-duh") said
with a knowing grin. I was sweating bullets but I knew in my
mind that I had not done anything wrong.
Then the IRS agent held what appeared to
be a hand-written document on notebook paper. Unlike all of the
signatures on the bogus documents, it was definitely penned in
the distinctive handwriting style of my old friend, Marty Frankel.
The title of the handwritten document was "Trustworthy Individuals".
I was listed as one of the people that Marty trusted, but my
wife was listed as one of the people that he did not trust.
"What the hell does that prove?" I
replied angrily "If I had a letter from Sadam Heusein that
said you were a nice guy Mr. Marini, would that mean you are
bad because Sadam said you were nice?"
SECTION TITLE: "The New York Times
, The FBI Edition"
DATE: Tuesday, June 15, thru Friday, June 18, 1999
PLACE: On my job in the factory, at home and in a local hotel room
When Evita called me, she was quite distressed.
The plant security connected her call to me promptly. Evita frantically
explained that some New York Times reporter named Joe Kahn called
our house and demanded an interview with me.
"He said that he was working with
the FBI" Evita said in a distressed voice, "and that
if we did not cooperate with him, the FBI would come with a warrant
and turn our house upside down."
"We didn't do anything wrong" I
replied calmly, "Yeah, tell Joe Kahn that I will talk to
him but I don't know where Marty is."
At work, I had become a topic of perverse
gossip. Many of my fellow workers knew that I was an old friend
of Marty Frankel. I had not seen not heard from Marty in almost
eight years, but nobody believed me. Everyone at work assumed
that I knew where Marty had fled to when he left Greenwich Connecticut
in May of 1999 (along with millions of dollars in diamonds) in
a chartered jet plane. I didn't know where he was and it never
occurred to me that anyone would really suspect that I did know
"Kahn asked me," Evita kept talking
as if she did not hear my voice, "if Marty had ever been
to our house. I told him 'No' and he replied 'Are you sure?'"
"So what?" I replied, "He
came to our house for a Barbecue, so what?"
"They know things about us." Evita
"Then they know we're not involved
with Marty's business." I replied.
Marty Frankel, as a fugitive financier,
running from the FBI and the Treasury Department, not to mention
the police agencies of several southern states, had become a
folk legend among the autoworkers at our factory. Factory workers,
some of whom had invested and profited with Marty Frankel, spray
painted slogans on the factory walls. One piece of factory graffiti
said: "VIVA MARTY!". At that time, my old friend Marty
Frankel was still a fugitive and it appeared that he had beaten
the system, escaped with almost a billion dollars. Naturally,
the 5000 factory workers where I worked, who had been bilked
out of some $30 million through a phony, company-sponsored 'Employee
Investment Plan', were pleased to hear that a little guy, Marty
Frankel, had beaten the big guys, some insurance companies. The
big guys had been beating the factory workers for years, now
the shoe was on the other foot. In June 1999, it appeared that
Marty Frankel, a middle class kid from Toledo, Ohio had taken
the money and ran. He was a factory folk hero.
I agreed to talk to Joe Kahn over the telephone
over the next two days, June 16 and June 17, 1999. I also agreed
to meet with David Barbosa, a financial/business reporter from
the New York Times when he came to my town on June 18, 1999.
I told them the same story that I would later tell IRS Agent
Larry Marini and FBI Agent Gary Schade on November 30, 2000.
I told them that I had not seen nor heard from Marty Frankel
since 1991. All I could remember was that we, Marty and I, had
a falling out. We were arguing over the unfolding events of the
1991 Gulf War against Iraq. I learned a short time later that
Marty had left Toledo, Ohio and I had lost all contact with him.
From the nature of the harsh words between Marty and myself,
I assumed that Marty Frankel no longer wanted to have anything
to do with me. After all, I was sympathetic to the Palestinian
cause and Marty was zealously pro-Israel. This subject of Middle
East politics was something that Marty and I had always implicitly
agreed not to discuss with one another because it jeopardized
our friendship. The events of the Gulf War, and the Scud missiles
fired by Iraq against Israel seemed to exacerbate this unspoken
issue of contention between Marty and myself. The images of Israeli
children in gas masks along with images of Palestinians rallying
while raising paper mache models of Scud missiles was more than
Marty Frankel could endure. He assumed that I was also celebrating
the impact of every Scud on Israeli soil. That was not true,
however. I never find anything to celebrate regarding war and
madness. The Gulf War appeared to be both war and madness to
On June 25, 1999, the New York Times article
by Joe Kahn appeared with much of the information that I supplied
printed in the article but never attributed to me directly. I
had established that I was a cooperative and credible person
with the 'irregular police-agents of the corporate media complex'.
Most people refer to these police-agents as 'journalists' but
Joe Kahn openly admitted that he worked with the FBI and that
there was a total collaboration and sharing of information with
In 1998, Marty's father died but I never
knew about that and did not even attend the funeral for Leon
Frankel. If I had known about Mr. Frankel's death, I would have
attended the funeral. I had great respect for Marty's father
and he had done some very important favors for me. Leon Frankel
did not know much about me when he helped me with a divorce problem
I was having. All that Leon Frankel really knew about me was
that I was a friend of Marty's. Marty was not even in Toledo,
Ohio at that time: he was somewhere in Florida. The fact that
I was a 'friend of Marty's' was all that Leon Frankel needed
to know. Marty's father, Leon Frankel, an attorney and family
court referee, helped me to regain visitation rights with my
daughter in the mid 1980's. I was very grateful to Mr. Leon Frankel
for his help, advice and intervention in my case.
In many ways, it may be a blessing that
Marty's father cannot see what his son is suffering now.
Marty attended his father's funeral in
1998 and I would have done so as well, had I known about it.
The one chance I had to interact with Marty Frankel before all
of his problems began . . .was missed.
SECTION TITLE: "Der Fluchtversuch"
DATE: Saturday September 4, 1999 thru March 10, 2001
PLACE: Hamburg, Germany
I had made a bet with a mutual friend of
Marty's, to the effect that Marty would be able to elude the
police authorities at least until sometime after Labor Day 1999.
We both knew that Marty was not really cut out for life on the
run and that he would make choices and decisions that would compromise
his life as a fugitive. There was never any doubt in our minds
that our friend, Marty Frankel, would eventually be captured
or voluntarily turn himself in. We knew Marty and we knew he
did not want a life on the run. Marty remained a fugitive from
about May 9, 1999 until September 4, 1999 where he was arrested
in Hamburg Germany. Thus, I missed winning my bet over Marty's
ellusion of capture by only two days.
On September 5, 1999 (one day before Labor
Day) in Connecticut, the spokesman for the FBI told reporters: "I
would like to announce the arrest of Martin R. Frankel, today," the
FBI spokesman said, "in Hamburg Germany."
Marty Frankel was kept in the Untersuchungshaftanstalt
or UHA, which roughly translates into 'Investigative Detention
Facility' in English. The Toledo Blade called this place the
'Holstenglacis prison' simply because the facility was located
on Holstenglacis Street in Hamburg. I read, on the Blade website,
that Marty's lawyer was named Thomas Piplak. I searched for the
name 'Piplak' on the Internet, in the Hamburg telephone directories
and found two names. I wrote one letter and sent it to both names.
I wrote the letter in both English and German but I specifically
asked Herr Piplak to call me and speak only in English on the
phone. Herr Piplak called me and from him I got Marty Frankel's
prison address in Hamburg. Over the following months, I wrote
about nine letters to Marty. I sent over $400 of my own money
and about $200 from a former employee of Marty's who wanted to
contribute too. Marty's family also sent money to him. Why send
money to a prisoner? The only way that Marty Frankel could get
decent meals was to purchase his own food from a prison commissary.
Marty would latter tell me
in his first phone call, Call #1: March 11, 2001, that I had
saved his life by sending that small amount of money to him.
At first I tried to wire money to him but the prison never confirmed
the receipt of the money. I feared that my money was not getting
to Marty. Later, Marty's sister found a new way. We passed money
through clergymen to Marty Frankel in the German prison.
Page 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 ... Next Page