A federal judge mostly stuck to his original punishments for two former HealthSouth Corp. executives, upholding probation time for former vice president Richard Botts and sentencing former finance chief Michael Martin to a week in prison.
Botts, who worked in the company's tax department, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud and falsifying records for his part in the company's $2.7 billion accounting fraud. Prosecutors and an appeals court had asked for prison time for Botts, and appealed the sentence of five years' probation and six months' home detention, along with a $10,000 fine.
Instead of altering the sentence to include prison time, U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon instead explained his original decision, saying Botts was only a bystander to an ongoing conspiracy. Botts had faced up to five years in prison, but Clemon was able to take into account his cooperation in the case against HealthSouth chief executive Richard Scrushy.
Martin, who received the same sentence as Botts after pleading guilty to securities fraud, conspiracy and other counts, was ordered by Clemon to serve the week of jail time after prosecutors asked that he serve some time behind bars.
Judge Clemon previously sentenced Martin to probation, but imposed the weeklong term after the case was sent back on appeal, with prosecutors asking that Martin spend some time behind bars. Martin had faced 10 years in prison.
Scrushy was acquitted in late June on all of the three dozen counts he faced in connection with the scandal that inflated earnings at the company, though he still faces civil charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission. More than a dozen former executives pleaded guilty in connection with the earnings overstatement, although Martin was just the third to receive jail time.
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