Captured Fugitive Convicted Of Billion Dollar Scheme Proclaims Innocence


UPDATED: Friday May 20, 2011 12:48 PM

A woman who was convicted of defrauding investors out of billions of dollars and then was a fugitive of 2 years said that she had no part in the schemes.

Rebecca Parrett was convicted on March 13, 2008, in federal court in Columbus.  She was sentenced to 25 years in prison, 10TV's Andrea Cambern reported.

"When the verdict came as guilty, I felt like I had been swallowed in a black hole," Parrett said.

Parrett was one of five National Century Financial Enterprises executives who were convicted in 2008 of conspiracy and wire and securities fraud.

They were accused of defrauding investors by diverting money for improper uses.

Prosecutors said that the executives made up data in financial reports and moved money back and forth between accounts to conceal shortfalls in investor funds.  Before Dublin-based National Century went bankrupt in 2002, the government said investors lost nearly $2 billion.

Federal lawyers said Parrett, who served as National Century's vice chairwoman, was ordered confined to her Arizona home until sentencing.

"I really did not want to live," Parrett said.

She returned to her Arizona home, but not for long, Cambern reported.

"(I) went home on a Friday night," Parrett said.  "(I) got in my van and started driving on Sunday, and I just kept driving and driving."

Eventually Parrett wound up in Ajijic, Jalisco, a small resort town located in central-western Mexico.

Ajijic is a rustic town that is filled with expatriates.  It is a popular place for retirees from the U.S.  Parrett insisted that she did not go there to start a new life.  She went there to die.

"I had been thinking long and hard of what I would do if I was found guilty, and I didn't want to live," Parrett said.  "I just didn't want to live."

Parrett lived for 2 years as Carol Ann Marrero.  Her thoughts of suicide gave way to the good life, reportedly filled with anti-aging treatments and nights out on the town.

All the while, her son in Columbus, Rob Parrett, was left to wonder if she was alive or dead.

"All I wanted was to find the truth," Rob Parrett said.  "I was threatened with indictment and they believe I was involved and all I wanted was the truth and my mother found."

Investigators eventually intercepted e-mails sent from Rebecca Parrett to her sister, Linda Case, who lived in Grove City.  Case was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison for lying to investigators about the case.

Parrett returned to Columbus in handcuffs in December where she was immediately sentenced to 25 years in prison with no chance for parole.

Deputy U.S. Marshal, Andrew Shadwick, said that he hopes Parrett's sentence provides some solace.

"(There is) definitely a sense of satisfaction," Shadwick said.  "To bring in someone that a jury convicted is rewarding.  Part of finding a fugitive and be brought to justice and punished for what she did, brings some sort of peace of mind to the victims that she's going to be punished for what she did."

Parrett told Cambern that she had no part in the schemes and scams that cost hundreds of companies their payroll, profits and pension plans.

"Every day I was gone, I was filled with the stress and torment of being a fugitive," Parrett said.  "Coming back to face prison for crimes I did not commit was also a very difficult decision to bear."

The FBI offered a tip of up to $10,000 for Parrett's arrest while she was on the run.  In 2009, she was the featured fugitive on the "America's Most Wanted" Web site.

Stay with 10TV News and 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

Previous Stories:

December 23, 2010: Former National Century Exec Starts Serving 25-Year Sentence
December 14, 2010: National Century Exec Faces First Court Appearance Since Capture
October 27, 2010: Fugitive National Century Exec Nabbed In Mexico
February 12, 2010:  Sister Of Former National Century Executive Arrested
March 27, 2009: National Century Founder Sentenced To 30 Years
March 23, 2009: Almost $400,000 Seized In National Century Case
March 28, 2008: Warrant Issued For Missing National Century Executive
March 26, 2008: National Century CEO Convicted
March 13, 2008:  National Century Execs Found Guilty Of Fraud
February, 6, 2008: Trial Begins For Execs Of Collapsed Health Care Financing Company