HealthSouth

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Free after serving a five month prison sentence, the only person to serve time in a massive fraud at HealthSouth is back home.

Others wonder whether the punishment fit the crime for him and nine other one-time HealthSouth executives who avoided prison in the massive scam.

Of ten people who pleaded guilty and have been sentenced in the multi-billion dollar scandal, only Emery Harris, a former assistant controller, was incarcerated. He finished his prison term in late June.

Federal judges have given the others a combination of house arrest, probation, fines and forfeitures. Five people were sentenced by one judge, and five by another judge.

Prosecutors have challenged some of the sentences, and the penalties have been criticized around Birmingham, HealthSouth's hometown.

Pam Bucy, a University of Alabama law professor following the HealthSouth case, called the sentences unusual for their apparent leniency.

But others said it's too early to assess the sentences because prosecutors are working their way toward key players including fired CEO Richard Scrushy. He's the only executive implicated in the earnings overstatement who hasn't pleaded guilty.


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