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OT. What a shame, HealthSouth the misplaced trust...

Old 12-10-2003, 06:32 PM
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Default OT. What a shame, HealthSouth the misplaced trust...

Read it and see if it doesn't seem as sad as it did when I read it a few minutes ago................... ( For those that don't know this is about the Monopoly Skater owner and founder of a very successful medical corp. that helped allot of people with MRI Imaging Technology Nationwide) What a shame.........(sham/flimflam). .................................................. ................................... ~ Ex-HealthSouth Executives Get Sentenced~

3 hours ago

By JAY REEVES, Associated Press Writer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A tearful former HealthSouth executive was ordered to prison for five months Wednesday and four co-workers got probation in the first sentencings linked to the fraud that rocked the rehabilitation chain.

All five contended they took part in the scheme to inflate earnings out of fear of losing their jobs, and all five got reduced sentences from U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson for their help in the investigation.

Former assistant controller Emery Harris, facing a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment and $1.5 million in fines, was sentenced to five months in prison, another five months of home detention, ordered to forfeit $106,500 and fined $3,000.

Wiping away tears, Harris told Johnson he was relieved when an FBI agent and a prosecutor showed up in his driveway in March after a raid at the company's Birmingham headquarters.

"I knew I could finally get out of this mess," said Harris, 32.

Johnson said she had a hard time coming up with the right sentence for Harris, who was ordered to report to prison Feb. 2. "You're just a kid. I have a son your age," she said.

Former corporate vice presidents Angela C. Ayers, Cathy C. Edwards and Rebecca Kay Morgan, and Virginia B. Valentine, a former assistant vice president, were sentenced to four years' probation, including six months of home detention, and fined $2,000. Morgan also was ordered to forfeit $235,000.

Each had faced maximum sentences of five years in prison and fines of $250,000. But Johnson ruled previously that the women were little more than data entry clerks altering accounts, despite their titles.

The government requested light sentences but objected to the judge's refusal to order restitution for victims of the scam. U.S. Attorney Alice Martin said the five weren't typical criminals.

"I do believe that regardless of their actions they believed in HealthSouth and they believed in management," Martin said. "Unfortunately, there were people in which they misplaced their trust."

Morgan, 56, accepted responsibility for helping in the fraud _ actions she said were prompted by intimidation, fear and a misplaced trust in her superiors.

"I believed what we were doing was temporary," said Morgan.

The five were the first people sentenced in the fast-moving corporate corruption case in which 15 former executives agreed to plead guilty. The government contends earnings were inflated by $2.7 billion in a systematic fraud.

Edwards dissolved into tears as she expressed her remorse to the judge.

"When I realized something was wrong, I understand I should have come forward. But in the situation I was in, I felt trapped. I was afraid of losing my job. I was afraid of my husband losing his job because he worked there," she said. Both were fired.

Pleading for probation, Ayers said her husband and 3-year-old twins needed her at home. Valentine said the fraud has claimed her job and marriage, which ended in divorce after she was charged.

"I was instructed by my superiors to do things that I did not know were wrong at first," said Valentine, 34.

Johnson previously ruled that actions by the five cost shareholders $66 million _ only a fraction of the more than $2.8 billion suggested by prosecutors at a hearing last month. The government objected to the decision.

Separately, prosecutors contend HealthSouth overstated earnings by $2.7 billion to match the forecasts of Wall Street analysts. Johnson's ruling dealt with shareholder losses only and did not address whether the government's figure for overstated earnings is correct.

Fired chief executive Richard Scrushy has pleaded innocent to charges that he oversaw the scam. Free on $10 million bond, Scrushy contends subordinates kept him in the dark but are now trying to shift blame.

Scrushy, 51, faces an 85-count indictment that charges him with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and certifying false financial reports.

Scrushy's attorneys were in court for the sentencing. The ex-CEO is praying for his former employees, said defense lawyer Tom Sjoblom.

"I am pleased that the judge showed mercy on these defendants," he said. "This is obviously a human tragedy."

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Last edited by Jolley; 12-10-2003 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 12-11-2003, 07:07 AM
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Corporate greed at its best.
I've been saying this for a while now "these companies, corporations, have become too fixated on the bottom line". All they care about is profit and it's at the expense of the employees.

Look at Disney.
Early this year they claimed they were losing money. Wouldn't make the projected earnings. Those projections were quoted to be 60% above the previous years earnings. I believe they "only" made 50-60% of their goal. They did it at the expense of their theme park employees. Disney stopped all full time hiring, cut back available hours to current full timers, cut benefits. Just a couple days ago Disney tried to layoff all full time banquet servers and cooks so they could hire them back as part timers without benefits. Disney lost.
Next time you're in Disney World take a look at the person running the ride you're on and remember that person is responsible for your, and everyone elses, safety. And remember that thay only make $7-8.00 an hour. How much is you life worth?
One "Cast Member" I worked with had been there for 10 years. His pay was topped out at $10.00 an hour and no increases without a change in contract.
Now figure the average family of four spends around 700-800 dollars a day in their parks, and that doesn't include lodging. Times that by the 150-200 thousand guests that visit every day. That's a ton of money.
The average person doesn't know this but every ride and attraction at Disney is sponsored. Those sponsors pay someting like 70% of the operating costs (payroll too) for that attraction. No sponsor, the attraction closes. All of the Coke products that are sold are delivered free of charge. All Coke asks for is the free advertising. Think about that next time you buy a 3.00 coke at WDW.
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