A federal district judge granted a short two-month delay in the Aug. 4 criminal trial of Lance Poulsen, former president, chairman and director of National Century Financial Enterprises. U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley said that an Oct. 1 trial date will allow Poulsen to review documents recently released by federal prosecutors.
The Dublin, Ohio-based NCFE bought unpaid bills from struggling healthcare providers and its 2002 collapse left roughly 275 providers bankrupt, according to prosecutors. In March, five former NCFE executives were convicted on charges of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.
Two prior requests by Poulsen since mid-May to delay the trial went nowhere. Marbley said Poulsens first bid to stall the trial was unnecessary and detrimental to the timely conclusion of this litigation. In June, Poulsen again asked to delay the trial over access to documents from federal prosecutors. Marbley granted Poulsens third request for a delay, filed July 7, because of the volume of documents released in late June. A two-month continuance will ensure that Poulsen has the time to obtain and review the documents that he plausibly claims are central to his theories of defense, the judge wrote.
Poulsens delay will push back the trial of James Happ, NCFE's vice president of servicer operations, to Dec. 1, Marbley said. -- by Melanie Evans