Insurance Commissioners Sue Vatican Over Frankel
By Arthur D. Postal / NU Online News Service, July 8, 2004, 6:16 p.m. EDT Washington
The suit, filed in federal district court by Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale, claims the Holy See violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act in connection with the disappearance of more than $200 million that has been alleged to have been masterminded by Frankel.
Damages could reach $600 million.
A ruling on a dismissal is expected this summer.
Lee Harrell, deputy
insurance commissioner, says the commissioners in
"Any lawsuit is very important but suing the Vatican was something the commissioners combined and the staff they brought in debated back and forth and based on the facts presented with thought it was something we needed to do," he says.
Frankel fled to
Just before Frankel's
mansion burned down in 1999 along with much of the evidence in the
case, Dale summoned Frankel and lawyers and priests with
The previous year Frankel had formed a bogus charity known as the St. Francis of Assisi Foundation that ultimately was used to funnel more than $434 million in bogus insurance company policies.
Frankel's connection with
Harrell says that at one point shortly before the scam broke he noticed that 3 insurers were purchased by St. Francis but never filed proper "change of control" forms.
An attorney for the