Jurors hearing the fraud trial of ousted CEO Richard Scrushy are getting a four-day break. Defense lawyers Thursday again tried depicting a key witness as a liar portraying a former HealthSouth executive as a fraud participant.
The defense highlighted the fact that Leif Murphy once attended a meeting with eight people identified as being involved in the scheme to inflate earnings. Murphy testified that he left the company after Scrushy flew into a rage when confronted about the fraud.
The defense for Scrushy also attempted to discredit 11 days of testimony from former finance chief Bill Owens. The defense argued Owens directed the fraud while Owens maintained his claim that Scrushy was behind the scheme.
Prosecutors claim Scrushy was the driving force behind a conspiracy to overstate earnings by some $2.7 billion from 1996 through 2002.
The trial will resume on Tuesday.