Jackson, Miss. (March 19, 2003) - An accountant who helped disgraced money manager Martin Frankel bilk an insurer out of millions of dollars pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraud charges.

 

Gary Atnip, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of making false statements to defraud the state, Attorney General Mike Moore said.

 

Atnip served as chief financial officer of various insurance companies acquired by Frankel from 1991 to 1999. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $15,000 on the Mississippi charges when he is sentenced.

 

Atnip pleaded guilty earlier this month to Connecticut charges of computer fraud over a 1991 transfer of money from Tennessee-based Franklin American Life Insurance Co. to a securities company. According to court documents, Frankel placed the money from the insurance company into a personal Swiss bank account.

 

Frankel, who spent four months running from the law, pleaded guilty in May to stealing $200 million from insurance companies in Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee. He awaits sentencing. Authorities said Frankel bought insurance companies, then stole their assets to finance an extravagant personal life.

 

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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