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A key witness against Richard Scrushy paid cash for more than $3 million worth of property and ran up a $700,000 tax bill while helping engineer a huge financial scam at HealthSouth. That's according to today's testimony at Scrushy's fraud trial.

In his tenth day on the stand, former HealthSouth chief financial officer Bill Owens told a federal jury that he failed to file federal tax returns for nine years.

Under sharp questioning from Scrushy attorney Jim Parkman, Owens said he is still working on a settlement with the Internal Revenue Service, but he denied Parkman's claim that his testimony against Scrushy would play a role in determining how much he owed the government.

Parkman said Owens orchestrated the fraud at HealthSouth and manipulated workers at the company.

Owens is among 15 former HealthSouth executives who have pleaded guilty in what prosecutors describe as a multi billion dollar overstatement of earnings from 1996 through 2002.