Accounting & Tax

HealthSouth’s Chief Accountant Quits

The company's finance chief, John Workman, will fill the slot. No delays are expected in 10-K filings for 2004 and 2005.
Marie LeoneAugust 2, 2005

Officials at HealthSouth Corp. announced yesterday that controller and principal accounting officer John Quille would resign to pursue other opportunities. The resignation will be effective as of August 12.

CFO John Workman will assume the role of principal accounting officer, according to HealthSouth’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Company officials don’t expect Quille’s resignation to delay its 2004 and 2005 10-K filings.

The resignation comes just days after HealthSouth settled a 2003 class-action lawsuit in which the company agreed to pay $7 million to its employee stock-benefit plan to settle damage claims related to alleged Employee Retirement Income Security Act violations. The payment is part of a larger $25 million settlement in which HealthSouth’s insurance carriers have agreed to pay $18 million to the plan.

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The settlement didn’t resolve the plaintiffs’ pending claims against four former HealthSouth officers: former CFOs Aaron Beam and Michael Martin, former CEO William Owens, and co-founder and former chairman and CEO Richard Scrushy.

Neither HealthSouth nor the insurance companies have admitted or denied guilt.

In late June, a jury acquitted Richard Scrushy of criminal charges related to accounting fraud. However, soon after, SEC prosecutors asked a federal judge for permission to pursue civil charges against the former chairman, essentially charging him with the same violations — directing a massive accounting fraud and engaging in insider trading.