Richard Scrushy said he's ready for the truth to come out following allegations in court that he is hiding millions of dollars he could use to pay what he owes from a civil lawsuit.
"This entire story is completely false and hogwash, and the discovery will prove that," Scrushy told 1819 News."
The former HealthSouth CEO, who spent time in prison for bribery involving former Gov. Don Siegelman, owes $2.87 billion in a 2009 civil case. Now, attorneys for Encompass Health have accused him of writing $7.3 million in checks in the name of prisoner Eddie Briskett, who is serving time for multiple convictions, including property theft, burglary and assault.
"I'm not on that man's account," Scrushy said. "I cannot write a check on his account, I've never signed a signature card, and no, none of that is true. Not a single word and they know that."
The attorneys with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP claim Scrushy is using friends and family to conduct business and has written two checks to himself totaling $3 million.
Now, Scrushy told 1819 News that he wants the truth to come out in discovery. He has asked the judge to put him under oath and gain access to Briskett's account to prove the allegations are false. Scrushy said this is another way for the law firm to make more money off Encompass Health.
"There's nothing to this," said Scrushy. "And they have billed and billed Encompass Health. It's shameful what they've done."
Scrushy alleges the law firm has billed Encompass Health over $110 million in about 10 years, although no documentation has been presented to back that claim. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP has not responded on the record to inquiries from 1819 News.
However, Scrushy said after 20 years of legal battles and 11 years since his release from federal custody, he feels he and his family continue to be attacked. He said he has a calling to do prison ministry, and now the positive thing he is doing is being turned into a negative.
"I've been doing prison ministries for years and years and years, and there are a lot of people that I've helped," Scrushy explained. "Those that have gotten out of prison, I have helped and gotten to know their families. There are people that go to prison, but it shouldn't mean that it destroys their life. I have worked with a lot of different people, and this young man [Eddie Briskett] is a good, Christian guy… When they did this, they hurt him. They hurt that guy, and he's a good man."
Scrushy said in his prison ministry, he has gotten to know a lot of inmates and formed strong bonds with them. He said he continues to communicate with them after they are released.
That is how he met Briskett 20 years ago, and he hopes the negative publicity does not impact Briskett's upcoming parole hearing.
"And to be attacked like this and for one of the people I deal with to be attacked like this is just really wrong," Scrushy added. "But it will all come out and prove to be right."
Judge John England, Jr. ordered a preliminary injunction stopping all transfers from the account in question pending discovery.
To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.