Jailed Financier Changes Attorneys
HAMBURG, Germany (AP) _ A German lawyer representing Martin Frankel, the former financier arrested in Germany after an international manhunt, said Wednesday that he has quit the case.
Thomas Piplak indicated that Frankel, whose bank accounts are frozen, had been unable to pay his legal fees. In a telephone interview, he said he dropped the case for ``several reasons, and money was one of them.″
A U.S. newspaper, The Toledo Blade, reported Wednesday that Frankel planned to sell his story to the media to pay his lawyers.
Frankel’s new attorney, Dirk Meinicke, could not be reached Wednesday. An associate, Bernd Rosenkranz, refused to comment on the report.
Frankel, a 44-year-old money manager from Greenwich, Conn., fled the United States in May after allegedly bilking insurance companies in five states out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
German police arrested him in a Hamburg hotel room on Sept. 4 on a tip from the FBI.
Frankel is fighting his extradition to the United States, which means legal proceedings in Germany will still drag on for weeks.
Last week, a U.S. lawyer withdrew from the case because of the bank account freeze and Frankel’s inability to pay.
Hugh Keefe, a New Haven, Conn., defense attorney, said he had tried to convince U.S. federal prosecutors to release some of Frankel’s assets.