Think of Jim Jones and the people that drank the Kool-Aid. He's serving an 82-month sentence in a Texas federal prison. I had to read this book for a course. I guess that makes us part of the same fraternity, so of speak, fraternity, neither one of us wanted to pledge to. We tend to do what benefits us today. But I did lose basically all of my wealth.
He was part of the great American success story of HealthSouth and ended up, like I, serving time in federal prison because of some choices that were made. I must say for Richard had some problems, he was very much a visionary in this respect. Massive accounting fraud uncovered at HealthSouth. I came away convinced that it's just not worth it. Beam: I was very intimidated by my boss, Richard Scrushy.
Some of those people ntended to steal -- they just never thought they would get caught. From his desire to own and operate a nightclub in Birmingham, to being a lead singer in his own country band Dallas County Line, to starting and managing a girl-band, to having half the public buildings in Birmingham and a parkway renamed after him, to paying a D-list Hollywood celebrity to be his lapdog, to Scrushy's ever-grating, belittling persona--there is a wealth of juicy dirt here to help paint him as a villain so farcical he could have come from a movie. Put this into a perspective to me, how old were you when you were connected with Richard and HealthSouth? MarketWatch: What did you do with the money? None of the others who did the same thing were convicted. Chiotakis: How did it get started? Have you guys lost your minds?! I will be happy to share to blow the whistle on Health south. Between my legal bills and restitution, I was pretty much left with no retirement and no money. How is corporate fraud accomplished and who does it? MarketWatch: What do you hope people take away from your experience? As the years went buy he built a large home in Birmingham, Ala.
He always carried a gun in his briefcase. People need to train themselves to be more ethical. And he undoubtedly can't be completely trusted to not spin his tales of Scrushy for maximum payback value. MarketWatch: How much do you get paid for giving speeches? MarketWatch: How was the crime unveiled? The job market for felons is not real good. The only way possible would have been because his boss, Scrushy pressures him into cooking the book so to speak. Today, I drive a Toyota Corolla.
My guest is Aaron Beam. I sold about 8,000 copies. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church in Robertsdale, and to parishioner Cordy Drollinger, who encouraged him to join the church. MarketWatch: Would you do it again? Aaron Beam possibly considers that to be his get out of jail free card, by pointing the finger back at his employer, as displacement of his responsibility. He says he has not missed a Sunday since.
I do appreciate you being on this show and, folks, Aaron Beam is my guest. And how could it have gone on for six or seven years? Even the way it's formatted could have used some help note to typesetters: it's not necessary to offset a new paragraph by both indenting and skipping a line. My guest is Aaron Beam. That was more than surprising, especially considering the harsh sentences handed down to some other HealthSouth officials, such as Owens, who got five years and served 43 months. Visit for more information and turn on to Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher.
As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. I never, never dreamed I would go to prison and that I would be a convicted felon… but I did. It can happen to you. Beam initially did this because of the pressure from Scrushy to make the company appear more profitable. They actually encouraged me to do it at other universities.
Businesses need to develop a culture of ethics, or else they risk ruin, former HealthSouth Corp. By then, my life was totally upside down and not what it was before. Nine months after doing so, he left the company, but the fraud continued. It was unrealistic and, unfortunately, he was my boss. Richard Scrushy actually told the Birmingham newspapers, 1995, it was his goal to become a billionaire.
HealthSouth was one of the success stories. But what happens when life gets out of balance? So tune in, turn on to Straight Talk with Chuck Gallagher. Scrushy seemed like a nice Christian man. I was intimidated by Richard. Never had we reported a bad quarter in 10 years of being a public company. I think my dog still loves me.
But I did have one emotion that was stronger: thank God the lying is over. I had 18 months and it was the longest experience I think I have ever had. You don't have to teach people, even at the college level, what is right and what is wrong. My guest is Aaron Beam. We tend to be short- term oriented. Chiotakis: You started a new business in Baldwin County, Alabama, just outside of Mobile.