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Scrushy fraud trial starts

Scrushy fraud trial starts

by Rick Turoczy on January 4, 2005

Jury selection in Scrushy’s federal trial is set to begin Wednesday. Attorneys will pick a jury of 12 members and six alternates Jan. 13. U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre set opening statements for Jan. 18.

Because HealthSouth has more than 3,000 employees in the Birmingham area, potential jurors are not likely to be excluded for being familiar with the case or knowing someone who works for the company, said an attorney for one of 15 former HealthSouth executives who already have pleaded guilty in the fraud.

Prosecutors most likely will favor people who are familiar with business practices or own stock, said Henry Frohsin, a former federal prosecutor who represented former HealthSouth Vice President Angela Ayers.

The clerk’s office said about half of the 600 people summoned are expected to qualify to serve and will be asked to fill out lengthy questionnaires about themselves and their knowledge of the case, the first tried under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, passed by Congress amid a wave of corporate fraud allegations.

Court officials said Scrushy’s trial is expected to last 10 to 12 weeks. The courtroom seats about 120 people, and another 180 people will be able to watch via closed-circuit TV in another room in the courthouse.

Scrushy fraud trial starts

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