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O. C. BUSINESS PLUS | ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

O.C. Dealer Reportedly Sold Gold to Fugitive

July 09, 1999|(Times Staff and Wire Reports)

A Newport Beach commodities dealer reportedly sold fugitive Martin R. Frankel about 3,000 pounds of gold shortly before the alleged scam artist fled the country, according to newspaper reports.

Frankel, who is accused of embezzling $215 million from several U.S. insurers, paid $10 million to Newport Beach-based Monex in exchange for the gold, the Greenwich Time in Connecticut reported, citing anonymous sources. Law enforcement authorities believe Frankel was attempting to launder his cash before he fled into a more universal currency, including gold and diamonds.

Greg Walker, an attorney for Monex, said the company was contacted by the FBI in May and agreed to cooperate. He declined further comment. Although the FBI is attempting to seize some of the proceeds from Frankel's diamond purchases, Monex is not listed in the FBI seizure warrant because too much time has elapsed since the purchases, the Greenwich Time reported.

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