Juror Illness Delays Scrushy HealthSouth Trial

Proceedings Tuesday at the criminal fraud trial of former HealthSouth Corp. (search) Chief Executive Richard Scrushy (search) were canceled after a juror became ill.

The trial will not resume until Monday, since the rest of the week had already been scheduled as off-days.

The delay means the defense team will have to wait to cross-examine former HealthSouth Chief Financial Officer Weston Smith, who on Monday told the U.S. District Court in Birmingham (search) that he had "my own independent confirmation that Richard Scrushy knew about the fraud."

Scrushy is facing 58 criminal counts as the accused mastermind of a scheme to inflate HealthSouth earnings and assets by some $2.7 billion from 1996 to 2002.

His defense team contends that underlings carried out the fraud without Scrushy's knowledge and that he was above dealing with accounting details.

Smith, the fifth HealthSouth ex-CFO to take the stand for the government and one of 15 HealthSouth executives who pleaded guilty to fraud charges, also testified that Scrushy made every decision at the company and that Scrushy had promised him the bogus accounting would be stopped, using the potentially incriminating phrase "no more creating numbers."