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Former HealthSouth Executives Plead Guilty To Fraud

Aug 27, 2003 | AP

Two former HealthSouth executives pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to fraud charges in a scheme to overstate earnings at the rehabilitation-services company.

The pleas were entered in court proceedings by Richard Botts, 45, former senior vice president for tax, and Jason Brown, 34, former vice president of finance.

They are among 14 former HealthSouth executives who have entered into plea agreements with prosecutors. Investigators say HealthSouth overstated its earnings by at least $3.5 billion.

Will Hicks, 39, former vice president of investments, has also agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to make false statements to auditors and maintaining false records and was scheduled to appear in court today.

Botts pleaded guilty to charges including conspiracy to commit security fraud and falsifying financial records. He was accused of mail fraud for allegedly providing false information to state tax authorities and the Internal Revenue Service.

Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He admitted preparing a false spreadsheet for auditors, which inflated assets.

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