Fugitive Ohio Executive Previously Convicted for Role in $2.8 Billion Fraud Arrested in Mexico
WASHINGTON – Former National Century Financial Enterprises (NCFE) executive Rebecca S. Parrett, 62, has been arrested in Mexico, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart for the Southern District of Ohio and U.S. Marshal Cathy Jones for the Southern District of Ohio. Parrett fled in March 2008 after a federal jury convicted her on charges stemming from her role in a $2.8 billion fraud that led to NCFE’s collapse.
Mexican authorities arrested Parrett in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico, based on information provided to them by the U.S. Marshals Service in Columbus, Ohio. Parrett was immediately deported according to Mexican immigration laws. Mexican authorities escorted Parrett to Los Angeles where deputy U.S. Marshals arrested her on the warrant issued after her conviction. Parrett will appear before a federal judge in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles today, then will be returned to Columbus.
"Corporate executives found guilty for their fraudulent activity will not be allowed to escape justice by fleeing the United States," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. "Like any defendant convicted by a jury, Ms. Parrett is today facing the consequences of her actions."
"The U.S. Marshals Service has followed all leads and devoted countless hours to the search for Parrett," said U.S. Attorney Stewart. "Their persistence has led to her arrest. Now she will finally face justice."
"The U.S. Marshal Service never wavered or slowed in our commitment to bring Rebecca Parrett to justice," said U.S. Marshal Cathy Jones. "Even fugitives with great financial resources willing to flee the country for years, as she did, will always have to look over their shoulder. The U.S. Marshals Service is world-renowned for having the resources to conduct complicated fugitive investigations, and this arrest again displays our commitment to ensuring the integrity of the criminal justice system."
A jury convicted Parrett, the former vice chairman, secretary, treasurer, director and owner of NCFE, on March 13, 2008, of charges including conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud. Parrett fled after the conviction. She was sentenced on March 27, 2009, to 25 years in prison. She was also ordered to forfeit $1.7 billion in property representing the proceeds of the conspiracy and to pay restitution of $2.3 billion, jointly and severally with other defendants.
NCFE, formerly based in Dublin, Ohio, was one of the largest healthcare finance companies in the United States until it filed for bankruptcy in November 2002. Parrett and other NCFE executives engaged in a scheme from 1995 until the collapse of the company to deceive investors and rating agencies about the company’s financial health and how investors’ money would be used. The court noted that 275 healthcare providers filed bankruptcy in whole or in part because of NCFE’s collapse. Parrett and nine other executives were convicted or pleaded guilty in connection with the fraud that led to the company’s collapse.
The investigation into Parrett’s disappearance generated leads in more than a dozen U.S. states and several foreign countries. Many federal, state and local police agencies assisted the U.S. Marshals Service in Columbus with its pursuit of the fugitive.
The cooperative investigation that led to Parrett’s arrest included assistance from the Southern Ohio Fugitive Task Force (SOFAST); the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service; the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division; the Columbus Division of Police; the FBI; the Grove City, Ohio, Police Department; the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Ohio Adult Parole Authority; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Officials also expressed their gratitude to Mexican authorities for their significant assistance in this matter.