Former HealthSouth Corp. CEO Richard Scrushy appeared in court for the first time since HealthSouth, Birmingham, Ala., was accused of massive accounting fraud and invoked his right to avoid self-incrimination in refusing to answer more than 40 questions from federal prosecutors. The ongoing hearing in U.S. District Court in Birmingham focuses on whether Scrushy will be permitted to access some $70 million of his personal assets, which have been frozen by the federal government for the course of the investigation. Scrushy has requested roughly $10 million for living expenses, $30 million for legal costs and $30 million for tax payments. He was advised by his lawyer, Thomas Sjoblom of Washington, to invoke the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. According to the Associated Press, Sjoblom allowed Scrushy to answer one question posed by the Securities and Exchange Commission -- if the former CEO would have fired any HealthSouth employee for falsifying accounts. Scrushy replied yes. -- by Julie Piotrowski
Scrushy takes Fifth in hearing on assets
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