By Tom McGhee & Andy Vuong, Staff Writers
Thursday, April 12, 2007
After the judge in the Joe Nacchio insider-trading trial in
federal court took an hour this morning to read them their
deliberation instructions, the jury of eight men and four women
began deliberating the fate of the former Qwest CEO, who is
charged with 42 counts of insider trading.
U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham told them that they are
the sole judges of the evidence presented in the case.
"You resolve all conflicts in the testimony," Nottingham told
the 18-member jury, which includes six alternates.
Whatever decision the jury reaches, guilty or not guilty, it
must be unanimous or the court could declare a mistrial because
of a "hung" jury.
Nottingham again expressed his desire to have the jury
deliberate on Friday
said he (would) meet with the jurors to make a decision.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors wrapped up closing arguments
Thursday after 14 days of testimony.
Nacchio served as the chief executive officer of Denver-based
Qwest from 1997 to 2002. During that time, he led the company
through tremendous growth but also allegedly oversaw a massive
accounting fraud that boosted Qwest's revenues by $3 billion
from 1999 to 2002. The company nearly collapsed into bankruptcy
toward the end of his tenure.
In December 2005, a federal grand jury indicted Nacchio on 42
counts of illegal insider trading connected to his sales of
$100.8 million in Qwest stock during the first five months of
The government alleges Nacchio had material, nonpublic
information that the company's financial condition was
deteriorating when he made those trades. Nacchio has pleaded
not guilty. Each of the 42 counts carries a maximum penalty of
10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
The trial began March 19 in federal court in Denver.