Richard Scrushy’s trial on corporate fraud charges opened Tuesday with a prosecutor telling jurors the fired HealthSouth CEO was the driving force behind a conspiracy to overstate earnings in the rehabilitation giant by about $2.7 billion.

With underlings generating bogus financial statements to make it appear HealthSouth Corp. was meeting Wall Street forecasts from 1996 through 2002, a prosecutor argued, Scrushy sold about $150 million worth of his own HealthSouth stock and spent more than $200 million on a lavish lifestyle.