A federal jury in Ohio has convicted the former chief executive of National Century Financial Enterprises of interfering with a witness in a criminal fraud case involving the bankrupt company. Lance Poulsen, the former CEO of the health-care finance company, was found guilty by the jury. The witness tampering charge was linked to a key witness who was scheduled to testify in the trial of Poulsen and other executives for an alleged $2 billion fraud at National Century. The Ohio jury convicted Poulsen and Karl Demmler of trying to tamper with the testimony of Sherry Gibson at the separate National Century fraud trial, which ended in March with the conviction of five other company executives.
Those five executives were found guilty of scheming to deceive investors and credit rating agencies about the financial health of National Century. Poulsen will be tried on fraud charges in August, according to the Justice Department. Poulsen and Demmler each face up to 35 years for the witness tampering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice convictions. National Century filed for bankruptcy in November 2002 after an auditor refused to sign its financial statements and lenders stopped advancing funds. The Ohio-based company was once a multibillion dollar business that bought patients’ bills from health-care providers and packaged them into bonds for investors.
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