BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – An Alabama jury Monday ended its 13th day of deliberations in the federal fraud trial of former HealthSouth Corp. (search) Chief Executive Richard Scrushy (search) without reaching a verdict, a court official said.
Scrushy is accused of directing a massive $2.7 billion accounting fraud from 1996 to 2002 at the health-care company he founded in a bid to inflate its earnings and stock price. The Alabama native has denied any wrongdoing and could face life in prison and forfeiture of much of his wealth if convicted.
He is charged with conspiracy, mail, wire and securities fraud (search) and money laundering in connection with the fraud.
The jury began deliberating on May 19 after four months of testimony in the trial in Birmingham, Alabama, and resumed discussions on Monday after a four-day break. Earlier this month, jurors said they were unable to reach a decision on all 36 charges against Scrushy, but the U.S. judge instructed them to try and work out their differences.
Donald Watkins, a lawyer for Scrushy, said the fired CEO was confident the 12-member jury would acquit him on all charges, and said the defense team expects the jury to reach a verdict in a week or two.
"I don't understand the public fascination for a quick verdict. This isn't Court TV or Judge Joe. It takes time to get it right," Watkins said.
"Due to the sheer scope of the charges and the amount of testimony in the case, a conscientious jury would need several weeks to have a thorough discussion of the evidence."