The Association of U S West Retirees



Nacchio's defense team foresees 'mob scene'
The Denver Business Journal
Friday, June 28, 2007

Attorneys for former Qwest Communications International Inc. CEO Joseph Nacchio accused government prosecutors of trying to drum up a "mob scene" at the convicted executive's July 27 sentencing hearing under the guise of gathering victims' stories for sentencing.

The assertion is made in a scathing June 28 filing to the federal court in Denver.

Nacchio's defense team filed papers, stating its opposition to a prosecution suggestion for finding victims affected by the fallout from the stock trades that got Nacchio convicted of insider trading.

A federal jury convicted Nacchio in April on 19 counts of insider trading.  He was originally indicted on 42 criminal counts, all related to inflated revenue reports the company gave between 1999 and 2002.

A jury found Nacchio made $52 million in stock trades knowing the sales figures being told to analysts and the public were false.  Qwest, after Nacchio's resignation, restated $2.5 billion in earnings for the period.

The U.S. Attorney's Office prosecutors proposed June 26 to notify participants in a civil lawsuit against Nacchio, Qwest retirees and others that they can submit "victim impact" statements and tell how Nacchio's crimes affected them.

Judges use such statements to help determine a sentence from within the range outlined by law.

Prosecutors want to make the public call because, they said, it otherwise would be impossible to find people affected by the stock's loss of value.

Nacchio' s defense team argued the prosecutors' approach to finding victims would be inappropriate, and that the charges for which Nacchio was convicted did not have identifiable "victims."

The move would simply draw out people angry at Nacchio, and that, the defense asserted, appears to be part of the motivation.

"The government seeks by its actions to incite the many residents of this community that harbor ill will toward Mr. Nacchio, people who blame him for much more than was decided by the jury, to come forward to demand that strong punishment be meted out by this Court," the defense lawyers wrote.