The Association of U S West Retirees



Ex-Qwest CEO seeks delays in civil case 
By Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer  
Denver Post 
Friday, May 18, 2007

DENVER - Former Qwest Communications chief Joe Nacchio sought Thursday to delay some proceedings in a civil fraud case against him while he pursues an appeal of his insider trading conviction.  Nacchio, who resigned as Qwest's chief executive officer in June 2002, asked a federal judge for more time to answer the allegations in the civil case, to participate in the evidence discovery process and to be scheduled last among the five defendants to give a deposition.

Securities and Exchange Commission attorneys have agreed to the request, Nacchio's lawyer, Joel Silverstein, wrote in a brief filed in U.S. District Court.

The requested delays will protect Nacchio's rights as proceedings continue in the criminal case, Silverstein wrote.

"The similarity of issues between this action and the criminal proceeding against Mr. Nacchio weighs heavily in favor of granting the requested protective order," Silverstein said.

Nacchio was convicted last month of illegally selling $52 million worth of stock during April and May of 2001 when he knew the company faced financial risks but didn't tell investors.  He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million on each count at his July 27 sentencing.  He plans to appeal.

During an April 26 hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer told Nacchio's attorneys it was in the best interests of the public and the other defendants for the two-year-old SEC case to proceed.  However, he said Nacchio's attorneys could file a motion that could potentially delay proceedings.

In the civil case, regulators alleged Nacchio and other Qwest executives manufactured a financial fraud that forced the Denver-based telecommunications company to restate $2.2 billion in revenue.

The SEC has said the fraud occurred between April 1999 and March 2002, allowing Qwest to improperly report approximately $3 billion in revenue that helped pave the way for its 2000 acquisition of former Baby Bell U S West.

The regulatory agency wants repayment and civil penalties, with amounts to be determined at trial.

The other remaining defendants in the SEC lawsuit include former Qwest President Afshin Mohebbi, former Chief Financial Officer Robert Woodruff, and former Qwest accountants James Kozlowski and Frank T. Noyes.