‘Lessons Learned’ from co-founding Healthsouth and the ultimate $2B Securities Fraud Trial
by AARON BEAM - Healthsouth CFO from 1984 Start-up until 1996
Aaron Beam speaks at University, Association and Company engagements across the
He, Richard Scrushy (CEO) and two others founded Healthsouth in 1984 and grew the company into a NYSE
Fortune 500 company. Mr. Beam departed Healthsouth in 1996 because he and his accounting department
instructed to ‘fix the numbers’ to meet Wall Street expectations, and he approved it; ultimately
him his wealth, career and a prison term.
Audiences are intrigued by Aaron’s first-hand account of the nefarious CEO figure,
Richard Scrushy, who built a healthcare juggernaut only to bring it to its knees. The talk follows his
book, ‘The Wagon To Disaster’ to describe a corporate culture that ‘worked the system’ of stock
analysts, auditors and Wall Street investment bankers to perpetuate a $2B securities fraud. Mr. Beam’s
discussion includes how to identify ‘early on’, possible signs of an ethical collapse within key
personalities and behaviors to beware of in any company.
- Co-founding Healthsouth - start-up of a great breakthrough
- Early Signs of Trouble, and Negative External Influence
- Slipping into the Abyss - Accounting gray areas, a ‘line in the sand’
- How the fraud was Initiated, Architected and Executed; a ‘point of no return’ -- Lack of Proper
- Yes Men + Weak Board = CEO Compensation & Fraud Run Amuck
- The Day the FBI Stormed the Building - Time to Lawyer up
- How to spot the signs that can lead to an ethical collapse in any company
- The Importance of Teaching Business Ethics in Schools, Universities and on the Job through
Scottsboro Electric Power Board
John Powell is Finance Manager and HR Manager at the Scottsboro Electric Power
(SEPB). SEPB provides electricity as well as telecomm services of Cable, Internet, and Telephone to
town of Scottsboro Alabama. John began working for SEPB in January 2010.Prior to joining SEPB, he
17 years as the Controller and Vice-President of Finance for Diolen Industrial Fibers in their
Scottsboro Alabama facility. At its peak, Diolen was a $150 mil international manufacturer of
yarn products including tires and air bags. Mr. Powell was born in Laurel MS and raised in Florence
He graduated from Ole Miss in 1983 with a Bachelor of Accountancy degree. He is married to Connie
from Woodville AL for 27 years and has 2 children. John is an Alabama CPA and an Investment Advisor
GASB Update and Current Projects
Topics: Other Post-Employment Benefits, Accounting and Reporting Accounting for
Leases, and Other GASB Projects
Tom Dyer is the Principal of Dyer & Smith, LLC CPA’s. Tom has been a CPA since 1983 and has
practiced public sector auditing for 35 years while focusing on TVA distributors as well as water,
sewer, and natural gas distributors throughout the southeastern United States. Tom has been a speaker
and discussion leader for the AICPA, Alabama Society of CPA’s , and TVPPA for 20 years.
Mr. Dyer is licensed to practice in Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, and Oregon.
He is a former instructor of accountancy at the University of Alabama – Huntsville (UAH) for 10
Mr. Dyer graduated from Huntsville High School in 1970, The University of Alaska in 1974 with a B.S.
Economics, and the University of Alabama in 1979 with a Masters in Accounting.
Tom currently lives in Huntsville AL and is married for 37 years to his wife Faye. He has 2 adult
children Kathryn and Tyler.
Presentation title: UFOs, Greased Pigs, and Other
to Accounting for Pensions
Objective: Provide an overview of the general dynamics of
Pensions for utilities and practical illustrations of new rules that impact their financial statement
Scott Blassingame, CPA, CPE
Central Service Association
After eight years in public accounting, Scott joined Central Service Association in
1997 as its Secretary-Treasurer. In addition to reporting as Secretary to the CSA Board of Directors,
serves as CSA’s Chief Financial Officer. He also serves as the Plan Administrator for CSA’s employee
benefit programs offered to CSA Members. These programs include: Governmental and Non-Governmental
multiple-employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans (15+ utilities, 1,000+ participants, $190+ million in
assets); 401k & 457 Defined Contribution Plans ( 35+ utilities, 1,200+ participants, $40+ million
assets); and Life, Dental, LTD, and Retiree Medical Insurance Programs (60+ utilities, 1500+
participants, $2+ million annual premiums).
Presentation title: Affordable Care Act Update - Blue
Associate Counsel- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama
Mr. Abrams currently serves as Associate Counsel at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of
Alabama. As Associate Counsel, his duties include interpreting federal and state regulations to assess
the impact to Blue Cross, contract negotiation and drafting and litigation management. Mr. Abrams has
been with Blue Cross since June 2010.
Prior to joining Blue Cross, Mr. Abrams served as Assistant District Attorney for
24th Circuit of Alabama where he prosecuted felony and misdemeanor cases for a three county district.
Additionally, Mr. Abrams represented the state in asset forfeiture cases resulting from criminal acts.
Prior to attending law school, Mr. Abrams worked for seven years as a Management
Consultant for Accenture where he advised clients on process improvement.
Mr. Abrams obtained his law degree from The University of Alabama and his undergraduate degree from
Mr. Abrams and his wife Shannon have two children.
W. Terry Mitchell, CPA, is the Principal responsible for establishing the Utilities
Group for the firm of Jackson Thornton & Co., CPA’s in Montgomery, Alabama. He has been involved
with auditing and consulting with the utilities industry for more than 39 years.
After graduating from Auburn University in 1973 with a major in accounting and a
minor in business management, he joined the Jackson Thornton & Co, CPA firm. Soon after joining
Firm he asked to be able to develop a specialization with utilities as his focus. Because of that
the Utilities Group now serves more than 100 municipal and public utility clients in more than 10
Terry has participated in the Management Training Programs taught by APPA, NRECA
AWWA. He has led presentations for utility associations at the national and state levels. In the last
years he has attained more than 150 hours of utility-related continuing education credits and
serves as General Editor for the Utility Cooperative Forum in The Cooperative Accountant, a quarterly
Publication of the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives. He also serves as a National
Director on the Electric Cooperative division of the National Society of Cooperative Accountants.
JACKSON THORNTON UTILITIES CONSULTANTS
Jackson Thornton Utilities Consultants is a division of Jackson Thornton & Co,
C., CPA’s. It is one of the oldest and largest professional service firms in Alabama. It employees
than 180 professionals. It has four offices Alabama, one in Tennessee and one in Mississippi.
TVA Cost of Service and Transmission Tariff
Karen Eagle is a Senior Program Manager at TVA, responsible for analyzing TVA’s
of service and for calculating TVA’s transmission and ancillary services tariffs. She has been
with cost analysis and rate design for more than ten years.
Karen joined TVA in 1986, shortly after graduating from the University of Tennessee
at Chattanooga as a William E. Brock Scholar. She obtained her CPA license in 1990. In addition to
analysis, Karen was a manager in Revenue and Billing for ten years. She has also served as the Manager
of Receivables and as a Senior Control Analyst in Control Evaluations.
Karen was born in Chattanooga and was raised in Jasper, Tennessee. She worked one
summer during college as a “gopher” at the Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative.
She has lived in Norris, Tennessee, for over 25 years and is married to TVA retiree
Bill Eagle. They are currently celebrating the recent graduations of daughter Karilena from UTC and
Thomas from UTK.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Senior Vice President
Global Products Fraud Executive
Don Binns is a Global Products Fraud Executive supporting Corporate, Commercial, and Treasury
Management Clients at Bank of America. His responsibility includes fraud policies, fraud prevention
solutions, and fraud initiatives in support of the bank’s domestic and international payment strategy.
Don joined Bank of America in January 1995 in Electronic Commerce. He held several leadership roles
Global Treasury Management, Product Development, Payment Strategy, Merchant Services, Debit Network
Management, and Fraud Mitigation. He graduated with an MBA from Pace University and a Bachelor of
Science degree from Auburn University.
Bank of America
Treasury Solutions Officer
Glenna is a Vice President and Treasury Solutions Officer within the Public Sector
Treasury Solutions Division of Bank of America. She has been with Bank of America for 30 years and a
member of the Treasury Management team for 18 years. She is a proven treasury management leader with a
strategic focus on complex state and municipal clients. She’s responsible for assisting municipal
clients in the development of an efficient and cost effective end-to-end treasury workstation, while
leveraging technology and integrating with existing infrastructure. She delivers the scope and
of Bank of America’s enterprise to help meet her client’s specific objectives and achieve their goals.
With Glenna’s vast experience in the government sector she covers the central Florida market,
Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama. With her expanded knowledge and industry expertise, she understands
the unique challenges government entities face in these unprecedented and challenging times and is
to share industry best practices with clients across the southeast region. Her main office is located
Glenna has been a featured speaker and panelist on innovative comprehensive
government and treasury management topics including Developing a Successful Request for Proposal,
Comprehensive Payables, Check Conversion to Electronic Payments, and Payments Transformation at
industry venues including The Florida Government Finance Officers Association, The Florida School
Financial Officers Association and The Florida Tax Collectors Conference. Glenna attended the