The Pretender chronicles how a bumbling thirty-year-old Midwesterner, a lifelong gawky misfit, built an intricate, fraudulent moneymaking scheme that bilked insurance companies out of $200 million. Transforming himself from mama's boy to corporate mogul, Martin Frankel entered a world peopled with desperate businessmen, political power brokers, masterful con artists, vulnerable women, vindictive husbands, and charitable priests - and spun his web of lies deep inside the power centers of Washington, D.C., New York, and the Vatican. But such success and excess aroused the suspicions of the authorities, and Frankel vanished from his opulent mansion - leaving behind a mysterious fire and some very confused law-enforcement officials - and ran for his life across Europe. Filled with countless revelations from former business associates, lovers, and victims, The Pretender is a snapshot of a single, chaotic moment in business history in which Martin Frankel became the quintessential criminal of the millionaire-a-minute nineties.
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