Emery Harris, a former assistant controller at HealthSouth Corp., Birmingham, Ala., was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Birmingham to five months in prison for his role in an alleged $2.7 billion accounting fraud at the rehabilitation company. Four other former executives from the company's accounting and finance departments received probation, Reuters reported. Harris, 33, is the first person to receive a jail sentence for playing a role in the fraud. He had been facing 15 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. Harris testified last month that he kept silent about the fraud out of fear after realizing HealthSouth was buying guns, grenades and spy equipment. U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson ordered Harris to pay $106,500 in restitution, plus a $3,000 fine, and said his jail time would be followed by six months' home detention and three years' probation, according to Reuters. Three former vice presidents -- Angela Ayers, 34, Cathy Edwards, 34, and Rebecca Kay Morgan, 56 -- and an ex-assistant vice president, Virginia Valentine, 33, each were sentenced to four years' probation, six months' home detention and $2,000 fines, Reuters reported. Morgan also agreed to pay $235,000 restitution out of her HealthSouth stock and options, Reuters said. -- by Julie Piotrowski
Ex-HealthSouth controller gets five months' prison
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