NEW YORK (AP) – A former investment banker who posed as a Saudi Arabian princess was told to check into a mental hospital Tuesday after admitting she tried to cheat an insurance firm and that she stole from a credit card company.

Antoinette Millard, 42, of Manhattan, pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud and second-degree grand larceny in exchange for the prosecution’s recommendation that she receive at least a year of inpatient psychiatric care.

Her lawyer said his client suffered a breakdown after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Assistant District Attorney Diana Lawrence told the judge that at least four psychiatrists had examined Millard, and while her mental troubles would not present a viable psychiatric defense at trial, they were severe enough to recommend treatment.

State Supreme Court Justice Renee White told Millard she must register at a suitable facility by the time she is sentenced on Sept. 13. Failure to do so will result in a one-year jail term, the judge warned.

The insurance fraud charge against Millard, a former vice president at the Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. investment bank, stemmed from her attempt to steal $262,000 from Chubb Insurance by falsely reporting that her jewelry had been stolen.

Millard, while pretending to be a Saudi princess, had sold the jewelry and tried to collect insurance on it, prosecutors said. She admitted to the judge Tuesday that she had filed a false claim in October 2003 to try to recover “more than $50,000.”

Millard, a native of Buffalo, was arrested in May at her Upper East Side home. She was charged with insurance fraud, attempted grand larceny and possession of a forged instrument and faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted after trial.

In the meantime, Millard had run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in charges on her American Express black card in December 2003 and never paid the bills, prosecutors said. Pleading guilty to the grand larceny charge, Millard admitted she had failed to pay American Express for property that exceeded $50,000 in value.

American Express sued Millard, getting a court order to freeze $951,000 of her assets. But that suit was settled without Millard having to pay anything, her lawyer, John Arlia, said outside court.

The prosecutor said Millard and the credit card giant had settled and that precluded the prosecution from seeking restitution. Millard had filed a countersuit against American Express for $2 million, claiming that she was mentally incompetent when she opened her account and was not responsible for her actions and that the credit card company should have known it.

Arlia said his client’s mental breakdown began on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center while she was at her job on Wall Street.

“Everything just collapsed for her,” Arlia said. “She’s sick, very sick.”


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