After more than a year of winding its way through the appeals process, the five-year probation sentence handed down for a former HealthSouth Corp. chief financial officer has remained exactly the same.Malcolm "Tadd" McVay, who only served as finance chief at the health care business for a few months during 2002, pleaded guilty in 2003 to signing a quarterly financial report that he knew contained phony assets, revenue and profits.

McVay cooperated with prosecutors in the government’s case against former HealthSouth chief executive Richard Scrushy, who was never sentenced in connection with the $2.6 billion accounting scandal at the company, and the government originally requested that McVay serve 28 months in prison. In sentencing McVay, judges noted that McVay's cooperation was notable, and that his special expertise as chief financial officer greatly aided prosecutors.

Scrushy was found guilty on charges of bribery, conspiracy and mail fraud in June 2006 and is set to meet the federal government again early this year as part of a civil lawsuit being brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

When he was sentenced to five years of probation in June 2004, the government objected and a federal appeals court in Atlanta agreed that the sentence was too lenient and should be revisited. He also forfeited $50,000 and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

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