INDUSTRY: Scrushy verdict is in–He walks

So after about 15 years of deliberation, the biggest fraud in the history of health care is coming to its zenith. The news is that the jury has reached a verdict in Scrushy trial. Now we’ll see if all that showing up at black churches and sponsoring Christian boy bands was worth it….

My guess is that in the Michael Jackson tradition he walks, but in my book the crook who blames his underlings and then claims that God forgives him is the lowest kind.

Check back soon for the verdict….

And of course he walks. Not guilty on all charges. Every CFO and person who works there said that he was fully in charge of orchestrating the whole fraud, but up to 200 local preachers appeared on Scrushy’s evangelistic radio show on Alabama cable and said he was innocent. So who would you trust.  A bunch of admitted crooks or emissaries from God?

The amusing thing is that he’ll now try to get control back of HealthSouth. Listening to Jim Cramer on CNBC has been quite amusing…Cramer is not too impressed with the wisdom of the Alabama jury.

Now he’s live on TV giving all the thanks for God, thanking all the pastors and ministers, and everyone who helped get him off.  On CNBC the squawkbox wag said "How about a foursome at the Alabama golf club–Scrushy, OJ, Robert Blake and Jacko?".  His other good line was "Lucky the charge wasn’t ‘Poor interviewing of CFOs" as 5 out of 5 managed to put one over on him…"

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5 replies »

  1. I don’t believe that the legal system is even remotely connected to justice anymore. Might have something to do with the fact the Kaiser attorneys are still getting away with nickel-and-diming me with paperwork in order to extort a Kaiser Victory out of me while nobody seems to be bothering with the fact their legal claim was based on a lie.
    When I’m done with corporate corruption, I think I’m going to transfer my energies to the cause of legal reform.

  2. Speaking of Tenet, the cardiologists “at the heart” of the Redding surgery scandal look like they will get off as well. It seems that it’s just too difficult to prove that doing heart surgeries at many times the national rate is bad medicine:
    Medical fraud case in limbo
    The Sacramento Bee – Jun 26 9:21 AM
    The FBI’s case against two prominent Redding physicians, suspected of performing hundreds of unnecessary heart procedures, appears to have stalled….

  3. I’ve actually served on two juries in Huntsville, AL (a little north of Birmingham) and they are the screwiest bunch I’ve ever worked with (also sat on juries in Florida and Texas and they are more sane). In the two I spent time on one was a civil suit involving a roofing contractor who in repairing a tar roof poured tar in someone’s family room. Half of the jury wanted to let the guy off completely because the homeowner should have known the price was too low. We ended up requiring he attempt to repair it again as the settlement (the family room breach had happened on his second attempt to repair the first bad job)–the homeowner just wanted a settlement that would cover repairs and the cost of new contractor. The local newspaper publisher was the foreman on that one–he came up the price was too low theory and really stuck to it. The second one (they keep you there all week and keep putting you on trials if you are fast) was even more bizarre. In that case, a man had hit his brother-in-law (an unemployed jerk who at the time was drunk and possibly stoned) with the blunt end of an ax to knock the shotgun he was waving at the rest of the family (wife and young kids) out of his hand. One lady on the jury thought using the ax was excessive force and that we should convict the defendant on attempted murder to teach him a lesson because the judge hadn’t offered us a lesser penalty option. The rest of us felt that if he had really intended to kill his brother-in-law he would have used the sharp end of the ax and embedded it in his head or torso, not hit a glancing blow on the meaty part of the shoulder. The judge was quite clear on the definition of reasonable doubt.
    I’d be willing to bet that the problem in this case was that there was one sane juror and several people who believed the underlings did it. When that juror got replaced, anyone else who may have been leaning toward a guilty verdict just decided to give up. I know I compromised on what I thought was right on the roofing trial when it became obvious the only other choice was a mistrial or complete acquittal. I didn’t budge on the attempted murder, but there was point when if I had, everyone in the room would have voted guilty just to go home because the one crazy lady wouldn’t change her mind about teaching the defendant a lesson. Our jury system scares me to death because most of the people who actually get on juries don’t have a clue about what they are passing judgment on and the end result is the lawyer who makes the best emotional appeal often wins regardless of guilt or innocence. The next time you are thinking jury duty is a waste of time and you want to get off, remember Scrushy and the examples I’ve given. Good people lose when the best and brighest avoid jury duty.

  4. The next question is whether HealthSouth can manage to stay in business without defrauding the gov’t and misstating earnings. Others like Tenet have struggled without the benefit of rampant Medicare fraud.
    It has to be a special kind of person who will agree to be the next CFO at HealthSouth… given that he seen the previous 5 thrown under the bus.

  5. I hope you are wrong Matthew. This guy needs to be in prison while his family is vacationing in the south of France.

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