The Association of U S West Retirees



Jury begins deliberations
By Tom McGhee & Andy Vuong, Staff Writers
Denver Post
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
and 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 2001.

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.