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January trial is set for former HealthSouth CEO

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A federal judge has scheduled jury selection in the fraud trial of fired HealthSouth Corp. chief executive Richard Scrushy to begin Jan. 5.

US District Judge Karon O. Bowdre, in an order released yesterday, said she expected jury selection to be completed and testimony to begin on Jan. 17.

Attorneys have said Scrushy's trial could last for months.

Scrushy, who has pleaded innocent, is free on $10 million bond. He was charged in an 85-count indictment with conspiracy, securities fraud, and money laundering among other crimes. He contends a $2.7 billion accounting fraud at HealthSouth was committed by others without his knowledge.

Scrushy's trial was originally set to begin Aug. 23. Bowdre later delayed that date because one of Scrushy's attorneys had a conflict, but at that time she did not say when the trial would begin.

Birmingham, Ala.-based HealthSouth is the nation's largest provider of outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging, and rehabilitative healthcare services. The company has nearly 1,700 locations nationwide and overseas.

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