Two more HealthSouth Corp. executives agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges, bringing the total to 14 executives, and the investigation of accounting fraud at the Birmingham, Ala., company has expanded to include the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. attorney in Birmingham said. Richard Botts, 45, senior vice president for tax, agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, falsifying books and mail fraud. Will Hicks, 39, vice president of investments, agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to make false statements to auditors and to maintaining false books and records. A federal judge in Birmingham will rule on the guilty pleas at a hearing that has not been scheduled. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against HealthSouth and founder Richard Scrushy in March, alleging a scheme to inflate profits by at least $2.5 billion. Scrushy has not been criminally charged in the case. -- by Vince Galloro
Two more HealthSouth execs agree to plead guilty
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