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Friday, March 18, 2005

Verdict sends ripples through Scrushy trial

BIRMINGHAM -- A prosecutor trying to send fired HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to prison in a huge accounting scandal said the conviction of former WorldCom Inc. chief Bernard Ebbers on fraud charges Tuesday shows juries can "connect the dots" in complex financial cases.

Scrushy's defense said the trials present two vastly different scenarios, with Scrushy on trial on fraud charges in the city where he lives and is known for generous philanthropy. But an expert in corporate crime cases said the Ebbers verdict in New York was bad news for Scrushy.

"Bernie Ebbers had a much better chance of getting off than Richard Scrushy," said Paul Lapides, director of the Corporate Governance Center at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta.

Ebbers, who went on trial the same day as Scrushy, faces as long as 85 years in prison after being convicted on all charges in an $11 billion accounting fraud that bankrupted the telecommunications company he built from humble beginnings in Mississippi.

posted by Brian Moran @ 9:25 AM   0 comments

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