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The Pretender: How Martin Frankel Fooled the Financial World and Led the Feds on One of the Most Publicized Manhunts in History

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The Pretender: How Martin Frankel Fooled the Financial World and Led the Feds on One of the Most Publicized Manhunts in History Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

How could a two-bit investor, too paralyzed with fear to trade stocks, bilk insurance companies out of $200 million?

How could a gawky misfit with an obsessive terror of germs induce a harem of attractive young women to feud over him?

How could a recluse from Toledo, Ohio, penetrate the circles of political and financial power in Washington, D.C., and New York City without leaving his house?

How could a Jewish guy with a passion for S&M sex persuade the Vatican to go into business with him?

And how could he do all this without anybody noticing?

Now the whole amazing story of how Martin Frankel pulled off one of the greatest financial scams of the century is revealed by "The Wall Street Journal's" Ellen Joan Pollock, who was a lead writer on the reporting team that broke story after story as Frankel eluded the FBI's four-month international manhunt.

"The Pretender" chronicles how a bumbling thirty year old used his financial skills to build an intricate Ponzi scheme based on lies and his amazing gift for luring businessmen — including Democratic powerbroker Robert Strauss — into his web. Frankel's stolen millions allowed him to transform himself easily from mama's boy to corporate mogul. His creation of a phony Catholic charity drew the interest of priests with close Vatican ties as well as a new group of mysterious business partners. But his attempts to go "global" proved more challenging and aroused the suspicions of state regulators. Frantic that his empire was about to unravel, Frankel vanished from his multimillion-dollar Greenwich, Connecticut, mansion, leaving behind a mysterious fire, a dozen or so heartbroken women, and some very confused law-enforcement officials. His bizarre scamper through Europe as a fugitive would ultimately climax in a German hotel room.

Frankel's world was peopled with desperate businessmen, well-heeled con artists, women looking for love, vindictive husbands, diamond merchants, private eyes — the whole colorful cast of characters that propelled this fast-moving drama.

"The Pretender" is filled with countless revelations from business associates and former lovers — many of whom were interviewed for the first time for this book. What finally makes "The Pretender" so compelling is that it is a snapshot of a peculiar moment in business history. Just as figures like Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken epitomized the deal-crazed eighties, Martin Frankel is the quintessential criminal of the millionaire-a-minute nineties.

Synopsis:

Martin Frankel was a small-town "mama's boy." He was also a financial wizard with big dreams. Pollock, a lead writer on "The Wall Street Journal"Us Pulitzer Prize-nominated coverage of the Frankel affair, draws on interviews and extensive research to recreate Frankel's life and times. This is not only the stunning portrait of a scoundrel, but a fascinating look at decidedly unorthodox period in business history.

Synopsis:

This is the unbelievable-but-true account of Martin Frankel — a timid, two-bit investor with a dark side who pulled off one of the greatest financial scams of the century and led the FBI on a four-month global chase before finally being caught.

The Pretender chronicles how a bumbling thirty-year-old Midwesterner, a lifelong gawky misfit, built an intricate, fraudulent moneymaking scheme that bilked insurance companies out of $200 million. Transforming himself from mama's boy to corporate mogul, Martin Frankel entered a world peopled with desperate businessmen, political power brokers, masterful con artists, vulnerable women, vindictive husbands, and charitable priests — and spun his web of lies deep inside the power centers of Washington, D.C., New York, and the Vatican. But such success and excess aroused the suspicions of the authorities, and Frankel vanished from his opulent mansion-leaving behind a mysterious fire and some very confused law-enforcement officials-and ran for his life across Europe.

About the Author

Ellen Joan Pollock is a senior special writer of page one features at The Wall Street Journal, where she has worked for more than twelve years. She has focused on personalities from George W. Bush to Michael Jackson to Ronald Perelman, and spent several years covering the Whitewater scandal. She is also the author of Turks and Brahmins. She lives in New York with her husband and daughter.

Table of Contents

Contents

Cast of Characters

Prologue: The Fire

CHAPTER ONE A Real Job

CHAPTER TWO Marty's First Fraud

CHAPTER THREE A Creative Partnership

CHAPTER FOUR A Special Trust

CHAPTER FIVE Phone Pals

CHAPTER SIX Domestic Bliss

CHAPTER SEVEN Mounting Pressure

CHAPTER EIGHT Mr. Corbally and Mr. Strauss

CHAPTER NINE Getting Religion

CHAPTER TEN Enter the Consultants

CHAPTER ELEVEN A Credibility Gap

CHAPTER TWELVE Unmasked in Greenwich

CHAPTER THIRTEEN Trouble

CHAPTER FOURTEEN Escape Plans

CHAPTER FIFTEEN A Summons to Mississippi

CHAPTER SIXTEEN On the Road

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN Betrayal

Epilogue: The Homecoming

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743204194
Author:
Pollock, Ellen Joan
Publisher:
Free Press
Author:
Pollock, Ellen Joan
Subject:
General
Subject:
Business
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Embezzlement
Subject:
General Business & Economics
Subject:
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Business
Subject:
Political Science : General
Subject:
Business & Economics : General
Subject:
Biography/Business
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Series:
Wall Street Journal Book
Publication Date:
20020931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 14.21 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » Business
Business » General
Business » Management
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General

The Pretender: How Martin Frankel Fooled the Financial World and Led the Feds on One of the Most Publicized Manhunts in History New Trade Paper
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$18.99 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743204194 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Martin Frankel was a small-town "mama's boy." He was also a financial wizard with big dreams. Pollock, a lead writer on "The Wall Street Journal"Us Pulitzer Prize-nominated coverage of the Frankel affair, draws on interviews and extensive research to recreate Frankel's life and times. This is not only the stunning portrait of a scoundrel, but a fascinating look at decidedly unorthodox period in business history.
"Synopsis" by , This is the unbelievable-but-true account of Martin Frankel — a timid, two-bit investor with a dark side who pulled off one of the greatest financial scams of the century and led the FBI on a four-month global chase before finally being caught.

The Pretender chronicles how a bumbling thirty-year-old Midwesterner, a lifelong gawky misfit, built an intricate, fraudulent moneymaking scheme that bilked insurance companies out of $200 million. Transforming himself from mama's boy to corporate mogul, Martin Frankel entered a world peopled with desperate businessmen, political power brokers, masterful con artists, vulnerable women, vindictive husbands, and charitable priests — and spun his web of lies deep inside the power centers of Washington, D.C., New York, and the Vatican. But such success and excess aroused the suspicions of the authorities, and Frankel vanished from his opulent mansion-leaving behind a mysterious fire and some very confused law-enforcement officials-and ran for his life across Europe.

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