Traditionally, white collar crimes provoked a great stir in the public but rarely white crimes led to the punishment of criminals. Ironically, individuals responsible for the downfall and ruin of thousands of people often received either short terms in prison or got nothing at all and escaped easily the just punishment for their crimes. However, even those cases, which resulted in the punishment of criminals, who have committed white collar crimes, are quite controversial because often the punishment is mild. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the case of Scrushy and the HealthSouth company, which he founded and headed as the chairman of the board. The case of Scrushy is the case of a bunch of white collar crimes. At the same time, Scrushy crime raises a number of ethical issues because Scrushy headed a large company that attracted millions of investments and the collapse of the company affected shareholders, who suffered substantial financial losses, and employees, who lost their jobs after the downfall of the huge company. In addition, the downfall of the HealthSouth reveals how irresponsible top executives of large companies may be. Scrushy was definitely profit driven and all his actions, including his criminal activities aimed at gaining maximum profits. As Scrushy attempted to maximize his profits he neglected the business ethics and violated not only legal but also ethical norms. In fact, his irresponsible actions cause considerable damages to many people. At the same time, his actions revealed the full extent to which the existing accounting and auditing system is ineffective and how the government cannot cope with white collar crimes and prevent frauds and other crimes committed by top executives. In fact, Scrushy could even avoid the punishment as he was pleaded not guilty by the court in 2005. Hence, the weakness of the government policy in terms of the prevention of white collar crimes is obvious and the case of Scrushy and the HealthSouth proves the ineffectiveness of the government policies in relation to white collar crimes and their prevention.
In the contemporary business environment business ethics and moral responsibility of top executives of large corporations is extremely important because their unethical behavior is closely intertwined with their illegal actions or inaction. In fact, illegal issues often arise along with the violation of business ethics although the violation of business ethics does not always leads to the legal liability of top executives. Instead, they often bear only ethical responsibility in face of stakeholders, while the legal liability is not always applicable to them. However, in some cases, the violation of ethical norms and standards is closely intertwined with the violation of legal norms. At this point, it is possible to refer to the case of Scrushy the chairman of the board of the HealthSouth and the person responsible for the collapse of once prospective company and deception of many stakeholders. More important, Scrushy developed fraudulent schemes and deceived shareholders, the public and used bribes and other corruptive actions to reach his business goals, to maximize his profits, even though he was fully aware of the criminal nature of his activities. As a result, the FBI investigation has revealed his crimes and he eventually got the sentence and was sent to prison for 70 months. However, his case reveals the full extent how easy the most powerful companies may be in hands of deceitful individuals violating legal and ethical norms and how difficult it is to punish individuals committing white collar crimes.