UBS, New York, said Securities and Exchange Commission staff may recommend that civil charges be brought against the investment bank because of work it did with HealthSouth Corp., Birmingham, Ala. However, UBS said it will first have an opportunity to present its position to the staff.
The company declined to comment further while the investigation is continuing. The SEC also is investigating HealthSouth in connection with multibillion-dollar accounting fraud at the company, and the Justice Department has brought criminal charges against several of the company's former executives, including founder Richard Scrushy.
An investors lawsuit alleged that a former UBS analyst helped HealthSouth finance acquisitions that covered up the company's negative financial results. The analyst subsequently resigned from his position because he broke a rule against talking about clients' stocks, UBS said.