The capture last week of a former healthcare finance executive who eluded authorities for more than two years ended a bizarre postscript to the collapse of National Century Financial Enterprises.
Parrett lands in jail
Former NCFE executive caught in Mexico
Rebecca Parrett, who fled the country and allegedly schemed to live on the lam in Mexico with her sister and mother, was arrested by Mexican authorities last week and deported to California, where she was met by U.S. marshals.
Parrett had been missing since March 2008, when she disappeared before being sentenced for fraud and conspiracy convictions (March 17, 2008, p. 4). She was one of six former executives convicted for taking part in what the U.S. Justice Department said was a $2.3 billion fraud at National Century Financial Enterprises, a healthcare finance company based in Dublin, Ohio, that landed in bankruptcy in November 2002.
While on the run, Parrett was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Parrett had been living in the town of Ajijic, in the Mexican state of Jalisco, and claimed to be in hiding after she testified against lawyers who had stolen from pension funds, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
The investigation into Parrett’s disappearance landed her older sister, Linda Case of Grove City, Ohio, in prison for six months earlier this year. Justice Department spokesman Fred Alverson said authorities continue to investigate Parrett’s disappearance and whether she had help. “It’s not over just because she’s in custody,” he said.
Alverson said she was arrested on the warrant issued after her 2008 disappearance and in coming weeks will return to the Ohio court where she was convicted. Attempts to reach an attorney for Parrett were unsuccessful.
Case pleaded guilty in February and was sentenced to six months in prison for lying to authorities about her sister’s location, which she told investigators might have been Nicaragua or Costa Rica, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors claimed Case and Parrett used e-mail to plan for Case to move to Mexico in a recreational vehicle and then return to the U.S. by airplane to move their mother.
“There’s no way that Mom could make this trip with me in the RV,” Case wrote in an e-mail, according to an affidavit filed by prosecutors. Case planned to cross the border at McAllen, Texas, she wrote. “It’s not going to be easy with seven cats and a dog in the RV with me.”
Parrett told her sister she would keep her distance for a while to avoid detection, the affidavit said. “I won’t try to see you for a while even after you are here just for fear that they might follow you,” Parrett wrote in an e-mail, according to the affidavit.
Parrett was the vice chairman and an owner of National Century Financial Enterprises, a company that used investors’ money to buy unpaid medical bills from providers, but lied to investors and ratings agencies about the investments and the company’s finances, according to the Justice Department.
In addition to her prison sentence, she also was ordered to forfeit $1.7 billion and pay $2.3 billion in restitution jointly and severally with other defendants.
An appeals court recently reversed money laundering convictions against Roger Faulkenberry and Donald Ayers, but upheld the former NCFE executives’ fraud convictions. Faulkenberry, the former director of securitization for the company, was resentenced in late October to 10 years in prison after he sought a five-year sentence.
Randolph Speer, NCFE’s former chief financial officer; James Dierker, the former associate director of marketing and vice president of client development; and Lance Poulsen, the former NCFE CEO also have appealed their convictions. Speer and Dierker were sentenced in 2008 to 12 years and five years in prison, respectively. Poulsen was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Four other NCFE executives pleaded guilty.
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