Nacchio has date with detention
Former Qwest CEO due in prison Tuesday after request to stay
free on bail denied
By Andy Vuong
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio must report to prison
Tuesday to being serving a six-year prison term for illegal
U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger denied Nacchio's request to
remain free on bail while the Supreme Court decides whether to
hear his case, ruling that he failed to show that the appeal
"would likely result in reversal of his conviction, a new trial
or abrogation of his sentence."
Krieger ordered him to report to Schuylkill Federal Correctional
Minersville, Pa., by noon Tuesday.
Nacchio attorney Maureen Mahoney has indicated in court filings
that she planned to take the request for bail to the 10th
Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court if it was denied
Mahoney didn't return a phone call seeking comment.
In a court hearing last month, another Nacchio attorney, Everett
Johnson, acknowledged that the Supreme Court generally sides
with the lower court on bail requests.
Nacchio was initially ordered to report to prison March 23, but
Krieger vacated that order so she could have time to review his
Supreme Court petition, which was filed March 20.
In a 34-page ruling Tuesday, Krieger concluded that Nacchio
failed to show that his appeal was not filed merely to delay his
In his Supreme Court petition, Nacchio raised questions about
materiality, jury instructions and the wrongful exclusion of
expert testimony from a defense witness during his 2007 trial.
Krieger said none of those issues is substantial enough to
Even though Krieger denied bail, the three-week delay to the
start of his prison term was already considered a victory for
"It's very unusual for a court to put the brakes on reporting
(to prison)," said Rick Kornfeld, a criminal-defense lawyer with
Recht & Kornfeld.
Nacchio was convicted on 19 counts of illegal insider trading
and acquitted on 23 counts in April 2007. He was accused
of selling $52 million in Qwest stock in early 2001 based on
private warnings from top executives that the company's
financial condition was deteriorating. In addition to the
prison term, he has been ordered to forfeit the $52 million and
pay $19 million in fines.
Separate from his bond request, Nacchio has asked Krieger for a
new trial, contending that new evidence has been discovered.
Federal prosecutors argued in a court filing late Monday that
Nacchio has not met "his heavy burden" of showing that the
evidence warrants a new trial.
The new evidence Nacchio cites is connected to warnings given to
him in late 2000 by former Qwest chief financial officer Robin
Nacchio also previously sought to delay his prison term because
of a "suspicious growth" on his leg that turned out to be
benign. That request was rejected.
writer Steve Raabe contributed to this report. Andy Vuong: