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August 8, 2008

Four Former National Century Financial Enterprises Executives Sentenced

National Century Financial Enterprises (NCFE), based in Dublin, Ohio, was one of the largest healthcare finance companies in the United States until it filed for bankruptcy in November 2002. According to press reports, investors were bilked out of approximately $2.9 billion through a scheme by its top executives, who were convicted by a jury in March on charges of conspiracy, securities and wire fraud, and money laundering. According to a Marketwatch article, the following former NCFE executives were sentenced this week for their roles in deceiving investors as to the financial health of NCFE:

Donald H. Ayers, 72, of Fort Myers, Fla., NCFE vice chairman, chief operating officer, director and owner of the company, was sentenced on Aug. 6, 2008, to 15 years' imprisonment.

Randolph H. Speer, 57, of Peachtree City, Ga., NCFE's chief financial officer, was sentenced on Aug. 6, 2008, to 12 years' imprisonment.

Roger S. Faulkenberry, 47, of Dublin, a senior executive responsible for raising money from investors, was sentenced on Aug. 7, 2008, to ten years' imprisonment.

James E. Dierker, 40, of Powell, Ohio, associate director of marketing and vice president of client development, was sentenced on Aug. 7, 2008, to five years' imprisonment.

Additionally, Rebecca S. Parrett, 59, of Carefree, Ariz., an NCFE vice chairman, secretary, treasurer, director and owner of the company, has yet to be sentenced, as she has been a fugitive since the March 2008 jury verdict. She faces a maximum penalty of 75 years' imprisonment and a $2.5 million fine.

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On July 29, Doug posted a story about a "major crack dealer" (Doug's phrase) who got straight probation because of his age -- 56 -- and serious health problems, including heart disease.

Now we see a sentence of 15 years imprisonment for a white collar defendant, Donald Ayers, who is 72.

Is there something wrong with this picture?

Frequently we have been told on this blog that we have a problem, indeed a crisis, with "mass incarceration" because we imprison first-time, non-violent offenders.

Ayers appears to fit that description. Should he, like the "major crack dealer," get no jail time?

I don't know the facts of this case, but there is enough even in the short sketch to once again raise the red flag about the anything-goes sentencing scheme initiated by Booker-Kimbrough-Gall.

The idea that judges should be at liberty to "do their own thing" is lawless, and the results are starting to show up. The contrast between the sentencing treatment given Ayers, versus that given the crack dealer, is simply staggering.

From the squib posted here, it appears that Ayers was the top dog in a scheme that defrauded people of nearly THREE BILLION DOLLARS. The idea that his status as a "first-time, non-violent" offender entitles him, or anyone else meeting that description, to walk is preposterous. One can only imagine how many families had their life savings disappear to satisfy Mr. Non-Violent's apparently insatiable greed. No doubt his defense lawyer put on quite a show about his advanced age. Well that's cool! What is it about his age that's going to make whole, or anything close to whole, the thousands of people he swindled?

So when he hits the slammer, good riddance. But at the same time, what justice is there in throwing the book at him while the "major crack dealer" gets not ten minutes behind bars?

The Supreme Court has brought us an incoherent, luck-of-the-draw sentencing system. I predicted at the time that the defense bar would be happy at first, but would come pretty quickly to have second thoughts. Cases like this should hurry them along.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 8, 2008 6:18:41 PM

It seems that is the rule in Ohio. Let the baby killers, meth housing go free. Unless of course the local tv station during a sweeps investigation uncovers that China Arnold has not yet been charged or arrested for microwaving her baby...then the prosecutor will take it to trial. Or if you happen to be a close friend of the prosecutor, your office manager has a past "relationship" with him, then if you need to make a civil suit into a criminal case, he will take care of that. That is how you get the bad guys off the street, have them go into business with a trial attorney who spends millions of dollars in advertising, then when they want to part ways...you can ruin his life, send him to prision and make yourself look like the victim.

Posted by: | Oct 11, 2008 9:59:34 AM

Anything illegal gets punished, right? Learn from this update about Mr. Lance Poulsen isn't going to need a cash advance loan ever again. He won't need one because Lance Poulsen is going to be in prison for the rest of his life, in all likelihood. The 65 year old was convicted of corporate fraud, and after being handed a ten year sentence several years ago, has had another 30 years tacked onto the time he already has. His associates Karl Demmler, convicted of bribery, and Rebecca Parrett have also been convicted and sentenced, although Parrett has been a fugitive for months. Parrett and Poulsen are both liable for about $3 billion in restitution. However, it will take Lance Poulsen a long time to make that in license plates.

Posted by: Alex K | Apr 1, 2009 3:40:25 AM

defense lawyer put on quite a show about his advanced age,I liked your blog it’s very interesting, your information had helped me very much, Please keep on posting the related information regarding this Article.

Posted by: scoremore | Nov 15, 2010 9:38:24 AM

i know faulkenberry personally and he deserves every bit of his ten year sentence. and why hasn't the court taken his luxurious house in muirfield village in dublin, ohio for restitution? he is required to repay his part of the 2.9 billion fraud he helped commit. too many hard working people lost everything they had and he should pay and not let his wife hide their house as she has apparently managed to do.

Posted by: pissedoff | Dec 8, 2011 12:02:20 AM

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