COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge sentenced a woman to six months in prison Friday for lying to federal investigators searching for her fugitive sister, who for two years has avoided a 25-year prison sentence in a $1.9 billion corporate fraud scheme.
U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley also sentenced Linda Case, 66, of Grove City to eight months of house arrest following her release and three years of supervision.
Case previously pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements. She will be given credit for the time she has served since she was arrested in February.
Authorities said Case lied about her knowledge of the whereabouts of Rebecca Parrett, the former vice chairman of the health care financing company National Century Financial Enterprises.
National Century, formerly based in Dublin in suburban Columbus, was raided by the FBI in 2002. At least nine former executives were later convicted of corporate fraud charges in a scandal prosecutors compared to Enron and WorldCom.
Parrett, 61, last known to have lived in Carefree, Ariz., was convicted in March 2008 and sentenced in absentia a year later.
Investigators said Case had been communicating with her sister by e-mail, but several times told deputy U.S. marshals she did not know where Parrett was and had not been in contact with her. They also said Case was arrested days before she had planned to leave for Mexico to be with Parrett.
"Case's actions helped Parrett delay facing justice," said U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart. "But the search for Parrett continues."
Case's attorney, Adam Lee Nemann, said she accepted responsibility for her actions and has been helping authorities since her arrest, noting that her crime is "entirely unrelated" to the fraud case.
"It's kind of ironic that she is being punished now when Rebecca Parrett has yet to serve a day in prison," Nemann said.
He criticized Parrett for engaging in "deceit and manipulation" that has led to her sister serving prison time while she avoids it.