A second associate of Martin Frankel, the high-living financier charged with stealing more than $200 million from 11 insurance companies he controlled, has entered a guilty plea as the federal investigation of Frankel's activities continues, prosecutors said today.
Karen Timmins, 34, who had worked as an office manager for Frankel, pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering Thursday in a plea agreement with prosecutors. Under the deal, she faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced on March 10.
Frankel has been charged in a 36-count indictment with bilking the insurance companies out of millions of dollars. At least three of the companies blamed their Frankel-related losses for driving them to bankruptcy.
Prosecutors said Timmins knew the money being sent from Switzerland to pay Frankel's expenses had been stolen from the insurance companies, converted into traveler's checks and sent to the United States.
Timmins failed to inform the authorities of the illegal scheme, prosecutors said, adding that she continued to distribute the traveler's checks, thereby concealing the money laundering.
Timmins is the second Frankel associate to plead guilty in the scheme. David Rosse, Frankel's former bodyguard, who has said he was a victim of the indicted financier, admitted illegally helping his former employer move more than $2 million allegedly embezzled from the insurance companies.
Frankel is in Germany awaiting extradition to the United States. He was arrested by Hamburg police in September after a four-month manhunt. U.S. prosecutor Kari Dooley said the investigation of his activities is continuing.