Accountant accused of defrauding Mo. companies pleads guilty

Monday, December 23, 2002

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- An accountant from Tennessee accused of helping defraud insurance companies in Missouri and four other states of more than $200 million has pleaded guilty to federal money laundering and conspiracy charges.

Gary Atnip, 51, was chief financial officer of various insurance companies acquired by former financier Martin Frankel from 1991 to 1999.

In U.S. District Court on Friday, Atnip said he helped transfer $200 million from those companies to Frankel's control. The money eventually ended up in Frankel's private Swiss bank accounts, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said they will seek a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, and $208 million dollars in restitution.

Frankel pleaded guilty in May to stealing the money from insurance companies in Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

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