Risk Management

HealthSouth May Collect from Ex-CFO

William Owens, who wore an FBI wire to record conversations with Richard Scrushy, is still on the hook for a company loan he never repaid.
Stephen TaubMay 1, 2006

HealthSouth Corp. apparently aims to collect a $1.4 million judgment award from a former CFO who has been sentenced to five years in prison.

The health care company won the award in March against one-time finance chief William Owens. HealthSouth filed the judgment with the Shelby County (Alabama) clerk on April 30—which usually indicates that the plaintiff is ready to start collection efforts.

Owen was one of five former CFOs to cooperate with federal prosecutors and testify against HealthSouth’s former chief executive Richard Scrushy. He was also the only defendant who agreed to wear a wire to tape his conversations with Scrushy.

During his testimony, Owen revealed that he borrowed $1 million from the company several years ago but planned to pay it back.

Owen and the four other CFOs pleaded guilty and turned state’s evidence during the trial, hoping to reduce their own sentences for the role they played in HealthSouth’s $2.7 billion fraud. Scrushy was acquitted of all criminal charges.