Woman who fled business fraud sentencing seeks early release

An Ohio woman who fled the U.S. ahead of her sentencing in one of the country’s biggest corporate fraud cases is asking for early release from prison

She is asking for early release, saying she suffers from “a rare blood disease that has no cure,” and other ailments, including arthritis, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and cholesterol. She also fears contracting COVID-19 while in prison.

In a six-page, single-spaced letter to Marbley filed in federal court last month, Parrett apologized to the judge for leaving the country, saying she was overwhelmed with depression and at “the lowest point of my life.”

“I truly am sorry for the additional aggravation and work that I created for you and others,” Parrett wrote. “My state of mind was stuck on terminating my life and I never had any thought of other consequences at the time.”

“I truly am sorry for the additional aggravation and work that I created for you and others,” Parrett wrote. “My state of mind was stuck on terminating my life and I never had any thought of other consequences at the time.”

Parrett described tough early years, including an abusive first marriage. She included notes of support from a chaplain, a minister, a doctor and friends, who spoke of charity work she did while in Mexico, including volunteering at an orphanage.

A response from the judge is likely weeks away. The government has not filed a formal response but is expected to oppose Parrett’s request.

Bureau of Prisons records show more than 4,700 federal inmates and more than 1,400 staffers currently have confirmed COVID-19 cases, with more than 20,000 inmates and more than 1,800 staff members having recovered. There have been 145 federal inmate deaths and two federal prison staff deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Prosecutors likened the fraud uncovered at National Century, based in suburban Columbus, to a privately held-company version of the Enron or WorldCom scandals.

The company called itself the country’s largest health care financing company when it collapsed in 2002. Prosecutors said executives authorized millions in unsecured loans to the health care providers, then misled investors about the loans.

Four other National Century executives, including the company’s founder, were convicted of multiple counts of wire and securities fraud and money laundering.

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