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Scrushy Update: Convicted Former HealthSouth CEO Speaks From Prison

Bruce Carton | March 3, 2011

The Birmingham Business Journal recently posted an interesting interview with former HealthSouth Corp. CEO Richard Scrushy that is said to be his first in-depth interview in more than three years. As you my recall, a major accounting fraud occurred at HealthSouth during Scrushy's times as CEO. He denied the charges of fraud that were leveled against him by prosecutors, and was ultimately acquitted of those charges in June 2005 after a spectacular trial.

Things got much worse from there for Scrushy, however, as he was convicted on unrelated bribery charges and sent to prison in 2007. Then, while still in prison in 2009, he was found liable in a civil lawsuit concerning the accounting fraud and was ordered by Alabama Circuit Judge Allwin E. Horn to personally pay nearly $2.9 billion (!!!) to HealthSouth shareholders.

There are many interesting items in the interview, including:

  • Scrushy is appealing the $2.9 billion judgment, and wants Alabama CEOs to know about and rally against what he calls the "most anti-business, anti-CEO ruling in probably the history of the United States of America."
  • The attorneys enforcing the judgment against Scrushy took everything he had, including clothes from his home. "They even came in and took my shoes and my belts and my shirts and everything. They take your photos your personal items, everything."
  • They also took his children's clothes and toys, including bicycles and his little girl's doll houses."I hope they are ashamed of themselves and I hope they will give those things back to my children."
  • In prison, Scrushy works as a tutor and teacher for other inmates.
  • Scrushy is hopeful that he may be able to leave prison for a halfway house in 16 or 17 months.

You can read the full article here.