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The State May Record This Call

Pavlito Geshos

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 20, 2001

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 that information.

"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 said.

"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 me.

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 that agency.

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.

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