Just over a year after his acquittal on charges of overseeing a $2.7 billion accounting fraud as the head of health care company HealthSouth Corp., Richard Scrushy was found guilty on charges of bribery, conspiracy and mail fraud.
Federal prosecutors said that Scrushy paid former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman $500,000 for a seat on a state hospital regulatory board while Scrushy was serving as chief executive of HealthSouth, the largest rehabilitation hospital in the country.
Scrushy, 53, will face up to 30 years in jail for the bribery and conspiracy counts, and four counts of mail fraud. The prison time for Siegelman, 60, could be just as long for his conviction on seven charges of bribery, conspiracy, mail fraud and obstruction of justice. All but one of Siegelman's charges is related to the Scrushy affair.
Siegelman served as Alabama's governor from 1999 to 2002, and ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic governor's nomination during the trial.
Both men have already said that they plan to appeal the verdict. Two days after telling a judge that it was deadlocked and being ordered back into deliberations, the jury returned its guilty verdict. U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller's refusal to declare a mistrial could alone be grounds for appeal.
In April 2007, Scrushy is set to meet the federal government again in a civil lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The suit seeks $786 million in penalties and restitution, and would not allow Scrushy to serve as an officer or director at any public company if found guilty. Scrushy was acquitted in late June 2005 on all of the three dozen counts he faced in connection with an accounting scandal that inflated earnings at the health care company.
Previously on WebCPA:
Next Scrushy Trial Set for 2007 (Dec. 6, 2005)
HealthSouth's Crumpler to Pay $1.3M; Scrushy in Court Again (Dec. 2, 2005)
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