There is? Is it possible that corrupted models being more common with higher polycount or is that just coincidence?
Higher polycount models are guaranteed to cause this issue. It's a "feature" (in the heaviest air quotes possible) of the POF format itself; it represents vertices using indices into a giant array of vector values, and the index is stored in an unsigned short, i.e. an unsigned 16-bit integer. This means that no subobject can have more than 65536 vertices; if there are more, the index loops around and you get effects like what's pictured above.
The way to go around this (and this is something models like BP's Erebus use) is to have parts of the model as subobjects under detail0. Since these are not tabled as subsystems, the engine treats them as part of the LOD0 geometry.