HealthSouth-Scrushy

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The first day of deliberations in the fraud trial of Richard Scrushy began with a jury request to review secretly made FBI recordings of the fired HealthSouth chief.

The tapes, featuring conversations between Scrushy and former HealthSouth finance chief Bill Owens, figured largely in the prosecution's argument that Scrushy masterminded a multi billion dollar scheme to overstate earnings.

Outside court, Scrushy appeared agitated at reporters' questions about the recordings. He did not testify during the trial.

Prosecutors say the FBI recordings prove Scrushy's guilt. The defense argues that Scrushy sometimes asked Owens for directions on the recordings, and that someone may have tampered with the sound to change meanings in some cases.

Deliberations, which will resume at 9 a.m., could be lengthy based on the 37-page form jurors must complete to decide the initial 36 counts against Scrushy.

Besides the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and stiff fines, Scrushy faces the equivalent of a life sentence if convicted.


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