The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained a court order to temporarily freeze "substantially all" of Richard Scrushy's personal assets, after charging the HealthSouth Corp. founder, chairman and CEO with massive accounting fraud. A hearing is scheduled Tuesday to determine whether to make the freeze permanent. In addition, HealthSouth, Birmingham, Ala., has consented to a court order barring it from "destroying documents relating to the company's financial activities and/or the allegations in the commission's case," the SEC said. The court order "does not in any way restrict the company from continuing to conduct its business," including paying employee salaries, HealthSouth said in a written statement. Yesterday the company's board placed Scrushy and CFO William Owens on administrative leave. Meanwhile, the New York Stock Exchange said it had extended the suspension of trading in HealthSouth stock to an undetermined period of time while the listing is considered. HealthSouth shares closed at $3.91 Tuesday, the day before the suspension began and the SEC filed its civil lawsuit against the company and Scrushy. -- by Michael Romano
SEC freezes HealthSouth chief's assets
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