Parrett Faces No New Charges After Fleeing to Mexico

Rebecca Parrett, the former National Century Financial Enterprises Inc. executive who fled the U.S. to avoid a 25-year prison term, will face no new charges after her Oct. 26 arrest in Mexico, a U.S. official said.

Parrett, 62, was picked up by Mexican immigration authorities in the resort town of Ajijic, Jalisco, more than 2 1/2 years after disappearing. She was convicted in Columbus, Ohio, in March 2008 for her role in a $2.9 billion fraud. Days later, while on bail, she fled her home in Carefree, Arizona.

“No additional charges are anticipated,” Fred Alverson, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart in Columbus, said today in an interview.

Parrett won’t face new charges because U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley already tacked on five additional years when he sentenced her in absentia as a fugitive in March 2009, Alverson said. Marbley today ordered that she appear before him Dec. 23 to be remanded to the U.S. Marshals Service as she awaits a prison assignment, Alverson said.

Parrett, now in a Columbus jail, was convicted with four other executives of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. She was ordered to pay $2.38 billion in restitution. Parrett, a former vice chairman, secretary and treasurer, was one of 10 executives who were convicted at trial or pleaded guilty.

Her attorney, Greg Peterson, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. Peterson attended a closed-door status conference today with prosecutors and Marbley, Alverson said.

‘Lap of Luxury’

At the time of her arrest, Deputy U.S. Marshal Brian Babtist said she was “living in the lap of luxury” in Ajijic, on the north shore of Lake Chapala.

He said she used an alias and told people she was an American who had testified against several people in a large white-collar crime case. She liked to go out dancing and was getting regular treatments from a Mexican anti-aging doctor, Babtist said.

“For somebody who’s on the run, it was pretty good,” he said.

In July, Parrett’s sister, Linda Case, was sentenced to six months in prison followed by eight months of home confinement for lying to authorities about her whereabouts.

National Century, based in Dublin, Ohio, helped hospitals and medical groups raise money by buying their unpaid insurance bills. The company then sold bonds that were supposed to be backed by those receivables. The receivables were often worthless, prosecutors said. The company filed for bankruptcy in November 2002.

Pimco, Credit Suisse

National Century’s collapse hastened the bankruptcies of 275 hospitals, clinics and other health-care providers, authorities said. Victims included Pacific Investment Management Co., the world’s largest bond fund. Pimco lost $283 million and Credit Suisse Group AG lost $257 million, prosecutors said.

Former National Century Chief Executive Officer Lance Poulsen, who founded the company, received a 30-year sentence. He has appealed the sentence and conviction.

Parrett, who left her sixth husband in Carefree, was the subject of a multistate search by U.S. marshals. She was featured on the website of “America’s Most Wanted,” News Corp.’s Fox television show about fugitives.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $425 million in 2006 to settle claims by National Century noteholders in Arizona. The noteholders said JPMorgan and other banks underwrote or were trustees of the notes used to defraud investors.

The case is U.S. v. Poulsen, 06-129, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio (Columbus).

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