Friday, July 27, 2007
Joe Nacchio, the former head of Qwest Communications, arrives
at the federal courthouse in Denver prior to sentencing on July 27, 2007
Joe Nacchio Also Fined $19M And Ordered To Forfeit $52M In Assets Gained In Illegal Stock Sales
(AP) A federal judge on Friday sentenced former Qwest Communications chief executive Joe Nacchio to six years in prison for his insider trading conviction.
U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham also ordered Nacchio to forfeit $52 million in assets he gained in illegal stock sales, imposed a maximum $19 million fine and ordered him to serve two years' probation after serving his sentence.
Nacchio had faced a maximum of seven years, three months in prison.
Attorneys were arguing whether Nacchio should be granted bail while he appeals his conviction.
Nacchio was convicted in April of making $52 million in stock sales at a time when he knew Qwest faced financial risk but didn't tell investors.
"The crimes the defendant has been found guilty of are crimes of overarching greed," Nottingham said.
Nacchio declined to testify at his sentencing hearing.
Nottingham earlier denied a defense motion for an acquittal and for a new trial, dismissing claims that jurors were swayed by damaging pretrial publicity.
"This was an extraordinary jury," he said. "In this court's view, the verdict takes a rational view of the evidence."
Nacchio is among the latest in a string of former top-level executives to be convicted in corporate fraud scandals targeted by a government task force established in 2002.
Thousands of investors lost money when Qwest Communications International Inc.'s stock price plummeted from more than $60 a share in 2000 to just $2 a share in 2002. The scandal forced Qwest, a primary telephone service provider in 14 mostly Western states, to restate $2.2 billion in revenue.
The investors could take solace in a Securities and Exchange Commission request for court permission to begin distributing $267 million to investors who purchased Qwest stock between July 27, 1999, and July 28, 2002.
© MMVII The Associated Press.