Securities and Exchange Commission
settled Monday with an executive of National Century Financial, the Ohio health care factor whose collapse in November left holders of its securitized bonds with billion-dollar losses.
The agency said Sherry L. Gibson, National Century's executive vice president, agreed never again to serve as an officer or director of a public company, and to fines that will be quantified at a later date.
The agency said Gibson was part of a scheme in which two National Century units bilked institutional investors into buying billions of dollars of securitized receivables from accounts that either didn't exist or were ineligible to pay. In many cases, the companies selling the receivables were partly or wholly owned by National Century.
"Gibson and other senior NCFE officials improperly 'advanced' to health care providers $1 billion or more of the capital raised from investors without receiving required medical accounts receivable in return," the SEC alleged. "These advances were essentially unauthorized, unsecured loans to distressed or defunct health care providers -- many of which were partly or wholly owned by NCFE or its principals."
Between 1999 and 2002, the National Century units sold at least $3.25 billion in total notes through private placements to institutional investors, with losses to investors totaling more than $1 billion.
According to the complaint, Gibson and other senior NCFE officials concealed the fraud from trustees, investors, potential investors and auditors by repeatedly transferring funds between the subsidiaries' bank accounts to mask cash shortfalls of as much as $400 million.
The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio also unsealed a criminal information on similar charges. The SEC said it continues to investigate National Century.