Texas Wesleyan Law Review
United States v. Scrushy and Its Impact on Criminal Prosecutions Under the Certification Requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley
This Note is divided into three parts. Part I will discuss the Sarbanes-Oxley Act itself, including an overview of the political firestorm that motivated its enactment. Part I will also detail the Act's certification requirement and the penalties for noncompliance. And, finally, Part I will set the stage for United States v. Scrushy by detailing the considerable success the Department of Justice had realized in prosecuting white-collar criminals leading up to Scrushy. Part II will discuss the background of HealthSouth and Richard Scrushy. It will illustrate the government's case against Scrushy and how the government believed the HealthSouth scam was implemented. Part II will also analyze Scrushy's motion that challenged the constitutionality of Sarbanes-Oxley. Part II will examine the trial itself and will provide a description of three primary reasons Richard Scrushy was acquitted-Scrushy's home field advantage, his public relations strategy, and the unique courtroom tactics used by his defense. Finally, Part II will conclude with a look to the future of Richard M. Scrushy, a man who still faces another criminal case and a myriad of civil cases against him. Part III of this note will analyze the impact of the Scrushy verdict. It will show that even though the Scrushy case was by no means typical, important insights into future Sarbanes-Oxley prosecutions can be gleaned. It will argue that one of the Act's original purposes-to hold corporate executives criminally accountable-has failed. Part III will look to the future of Sarbanes-Oxley. It will provide alternative ideas to consider in order to more efficiently restore confidence in corporate America, while relaxing restrictions on innovation and risktaking.
Walter T. Stock,
United States v. Scrushy and Its Impact on Criminal Prosecutions Under the Certification Requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley,
Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.37419/TWLR.V13.I1.8