Weston Smith began his career as a CPA with Ernst & Young, specializing in audit and healthcare consulting. He was hired by Healthsouth Corporation during it’s infancy, and ultimately became CFO of the company with 40,000 employees and 2,000 locations throughout the U.S. and in five other countries. However, Smith and others within the company were participants in manipulating financial statements that resulted in the overstatement of earning by more than $3 billion. It was one of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history.
Smith voluntarily exposed the fraud and was one of the few people who stepped forward to cooperate in the case. His cooperation and testimony was central to the government’s prosecution of a number of former executives at the company, including Healthsouth’s CEO, Richard Scrushy.
Today, Smith is a speaker on who shares his cautionary tale with universities, corporations and professional societies across the country. The topics he speaks on include:
- Corporate Governance
- Pressures Of Managing Wall Street Expectations
- Ethics And Accounting
- Healthcare Industry
Walt’s Take: I have known Weston for over 4 years. His cautionary tale is one that will resonate with CFOs and executives in companies who suddenly find themselves growing faster than is sustainable. While he takes full responsibility for the actions that led him to “cook the books,” he also peppers it with the things that they were doing well at the company. In the end, that balance got out of whack and he is the first one to tell you that.