NEWS MEDIA UPDATE · ALABAMA · Secret Courts · Sep. 9, 2005
Documents from corporate fraud trial ordered unsealed
Sep. 9, 2005 · Sealed documents from the fraud trial of Richard Scrushy, founder and former CEO of HealthSouth Corp., must be released, a federal district judge ordered Sept. 1. Additional case documents will be released, U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre explained in her order, but with redactions of sensitive information such as account numbers, which “could be used to facilitate financial crimes or mischief.”
Scrushy is the first CEO to be charged for violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires CEOs and CFOs to confirm personally the accuracy of corporate regulatory filings. In 2003, Scrushy was charged with 36 criminal counts for allegedly participating in fraud totaling $2.7 billion. He was found not guilty June 28.
Media organizations including The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press urged the court to release case documents held under seal to protect the American public’s financial future. Calling the case “of historic and precedent-setting scope,” the groups argued that the “administration of [the Sarbanes Oxley Act] must not take place shrouded in secrecy.”
(U.S. v. Scrushy; Media counsel: Gilbert E. Johnston Jr., James P. Pewitt, Alan D. Mathis, Johnston Barton Proctor & Powell, LLP, Birmingham, Ala.) — SB