Richard Scrushy is a free man today. The embattled founder of HealthSouth cried and hugged his wife and his attorney after a federal jury acquitted him on all 36 charges connected to a massive earning overstatement at the Birmingham-based company.
The decision comes on the fifth day of deliberations since Federal Judge Karon Bowdre replaced a sick juror with an alternate and told the panel to start talks from scratch. Overall the jury spent 21 days discussing Scrushy's fate.
US Attorney Alice Martin said she was disappointed in the verdict.
Scrushy blamed the accounting scheme on subordinates. He was one
of Alabama's best-known business leaders at HealthSouth's height.
Scrushy dictated everything from T-shirt designs to seating in the executive dining room. He's also known for his extravagant lifestyle that includes big boats, vintage cars and waterfront mansions.