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SEC: 2 Ex-HealthSouth CFOs Engaged in Insider Trading

Mar 31, 2003 | Wall Street Journal

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges Monday against two former HealthSouth Corp. (HLSH) chief financial officers alleging they engaged in insider trading.

The agency said William Owens and Weston Smith also aided and abetted the company's chief executive and chairman Richard Scrushy with violations of the "anti-fraud, reporting, books-and-records and internal-controls provisions of the federal securities law."

As reported, Messrs. Owens and Smith have pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges and agreed to cooperate with a government probe of the Alabama-based health-care services company.

According to the SEC, Messrs. Owens and Smith engaged in insider trading by selling substantial amounts of HealthSouth stock while they knew that the company's financial statements grossly misstated its earnings and assets.

As a result, the agency is seeking an order requiring the men to give up all ill-gotten gains as well as losses they avoided and fines. In addition, the SEC will seek to have the men permanently barred from acting as officers of a public company.

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