The judge presiding over Richard Scrushy's criminal trial dropped two more charges against the former HealthSouth Corp. chief executive officer -- including one of the two remaining Sarbanes-Oxley Act charges, according to court filings. U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre in Birmingham, Ala., denied a motion to drop 25 additional charges, including the last Sarbanes-Oxley charge, and reserved ruling on 12 other charges, according to the filings. Bowdre threw out an obstruction charge and tossed a Sarbanes-Oxley charge claiming Scrushy directed then-Chief Financial Officer Bill Owens to sign false financial documents. Bowdre had thrown out another Sarbanes-Oxley charge earlier. Scrushy still faces one Sarbanes-Oxley charge alleging he knowingly signed false financial documents and 47 other charges alleging fraud and money-laundering. Scrushy is the first CEO tried for allegedly violating the act. Closing arguments begin Monday. The government alleges Scrushy played a major role in some $2.7 billion in accounting fraud at HealthSouth. Scrushy's attorneys say the fraud was perpetrated by other executives without Scrushy's knowledge. -- by Joseph Mantone
Another Sarbanes-Oxley charge tossed as Scrushy trial nears end
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