While the twisting legal saga of Richard Scrushy has had a yard sale air lately, the case took another turn last week when the imprisoned former CEO of HealthSouth Corp. claimed he just didn’t know where many of his assets are located. Scrushy, who is serving a sentence in federal prison in Texas for a bribery case, has already seen his fleet of automobiles auctioned off. More sales are on the way, with plans to auction a lakefront estate, some boats and other property.
But last week in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, Ala., Scrushy told a judge he had no idea what became of the firearms he used to keep at his suburban Birmingham mansion or more than $9 million he made from a stock option sale eight years ago.
“Do you recall what you did with the money? Nine million dollars is a lot of money, Mr. Scrushy,” said attorney John Somerville, representing HealthSouth shareholders trying to collect the verdict.
“I don’t recall what I did with it,” said Scrushy.
The Birmingham News reported that shareholder’s lawyers worked to bring Scrushy back to court because he wasn’t cooperating with attempts to identify and seize his assets.
In another twist, Scrushy claimed his personal accountant embezzled more than $6 million from him from 2000 to 2002, the News reported. The accountant, Bill Massey committed suicide in 2002. Scrushy says the theft means financial statements prepared by Massey aren’t reliable.
Last month, Scrushy’s 19 cars brought in more than $800,000 during an auction in Birmingham, the town where Scrushy founded and headquartered his rehabilitation chain. The proceeds went toward a $2.9 billion verdict in a shareholder lawsuit over accounting fraud at HealthSouth. In November, there are plans to auction his lakefront estate in Alabama. Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said that Scrushy’s 13,000-square-foot home at Lake Martin will go up for sale Nov. 9. County records say the property is worth $6.2 million. Two of Scrushy’s boats, a golf cart and several personal watercraft will be up for auction on Oct. 19.