A federal judge in Trenton, N.J., issued an arrest warrant yesterday for Martin A. Bramson, one of three Howard County men indicted last month on charges stemming from an alleged international insurance scam, after he failed to appear at a hearing at which prosecutors were attempting to revoke his bail.
The U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey scheduled yesterday's hearing to argue that Martin Bramson, 45, violated his bail this month by attempting to transfer $500,000 into a bank in the Federated States of Micronesia that allegedly was controlled by him and his brother, Leonard A. Bramson, who was also named in last month's indictment.
The government said that Martin Bramson had ordered the transfer of the money despite agreeing not to move more than $2,000 without the prior approval of the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey.
Martin and Leonard Bramson, 44, were arrested last month and charged with taking part in an insurance scheme that prosecutors in Baltimore allege defrauded policyholders of millions of dollars in premiums.
The 29-count indictment handed up in New Jersey also named a Maryland insurance broker, Warren H. Berkle Jr., and charged the three men with illegally selling insurance policies and trying to move money out of the country.
In court papers filed in connection with yesterday's hearing, an FBI agent said that the $500,000 Martin Bramson attempted to move represented "proceeds of insurance premiums which were fraudulently moved" from this country into bank accounts at the Caribbean Commercial Bank of Anguilla.
Martin Bramson then attempted to transfer the money from these accounts, listed in the name of Leonard Bramson and B. Scott Smith -- identified in court papers as an associate of Martin Bramson -- to New World Bank, which is controlled by the two Bramson brothers, the government contended.
Martin Bramson's attorney in this matter could not be reached. His personal attorney, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, said that he was aware Mr. Bramson had missed the hearing but could offer no explanation.
Martin Bramson had been held under house arrest and a $300,000 bond pending his Nov. 6 trial date, prosecutors said.
He was being monitored by an electronic device and disappeared Saturday afternoon, according to prosecutors. The arrest warrant was issued yesterday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Garrett E. Brown Jr. in Trenton.
Federal prosecutors said that the judge denied the government's motion to revoke the release of Leonard Bramson, who did appear at yesterday's hearing, finding insufficient evidence that he had played a role in the attempted money transfers.
Martin and Leonard Bramson each could receive 180 years in prison and more than $9 million in fines if found guilty of the charges in New Jersey.