Ex-HealthSouth Chief Richard Scrushy’s Prison Sentence Cut to 70 Months

HealthSouth Corp. (HLS) founder Richard Scrushy may be freed this year after being resentenced to 70 months in prison for making a campaign contribution to Alabama’s former governor in exchange for a seat on a state hospital board.

U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller resentenced Scrushy, 59, today in Montgomery, Alabama, his lawyer, Arthur Leach, said. His original prison term was six years and 10 months. Before today, Scrushy’s projected release date was June 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

“This basically is getting him home 12 months early,” Leach said today in a phone interview. “It allows him to get on with his life, find a job and support his family.”

An appeals court in May overturned two honest-services convictions and upheld two others after the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the scope of a law making it a crime to deprive citizens and shareholders of the honest services of public and corporate officers.

Scrushy was assigned to a federal prison in Beaumont, Texas, after a jury convicted him in 2006 of giving former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman a $500,000 campaign contribution in exchange for a seat on a hospital regulatory board. He was acquitted in 2005 of charges of directing an accounting fraud at his health-care company.

High-School Tutor

Scrushy spoke for about 45 minutes at today’s sentencing hearing, Leach said. He talked about his job teaching math, science and history to people taking the high-school equivalency exam, according to Leach.

He will probably go to a halfway house within the next 30 days, Leach said. From there he will spend six months in home confinement under the supervision of the Bureau of Prisons before being eligible for supervised release, the lawyer said.

The case is U.S. v. Scrushy, 05-cr-119, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama (Montgomery).

To contact the reporter on this story: Sophia Pearson in Philadelphia at spearson3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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