The Association of U S West Retirees



Nacchio attorneys outline sentence recommendations


Associated Press

June 11, 2010

DENVER Former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio is pushing to reduce his prison sentence on insider trading convictions by almost half and slash his fine even more.

Nacchio, 60, was sentenced in 2007 to serve six years in prison, pay $19 million in fines and forfeit $52 million, but a federal appeals court ruled the sentence was too harsh because a judge miscalculated Nacchio's net gains from stock sales allegedly based on insider information. Another judge will reconsider his sentence later this month.

In court filings Friday, Nacchio's lawyers argued for a sentence of three years and five months in prison and a $3.6 million fine. But prosecutors say a stiffer sentence, including a $19 million fine and a forfeiture of $44 million, are appropriate.

Nacchio's lawyers this week also submitted letters from his supporters and painted a picture of a working-class couple's Brooklyn-born middle son who grew up on Staten Island, skipped a grade, went to New York University on scholarship, started supporting his parents in his 20s, and rose to become the No. 3 executive at AT&T and then head of Denver-based Qwest Communications International Inc.

Lawyers wrote that Nacchio and his wife, who married in 1978, took in a niece of his neurologically impaired older brother when she was a teen, after she had completed a drug rehabilitation program.

"Joe Nacchio is nothing like the caricature created and vilified by the press," his lawyers wrote. "He is a loving husband to his wife of 32 years. He is the father of two sons who love him, their mentor, former baseball and soccer coach, and the primary provider of the critical emotional support and guidance that they need. He is a devoted son to his 92-year-old mother and was her caretaker until he was incarcerated. And even though he is the middle child of three brothers, he has cared for and supported his older and younger brothers and their families."

Prosecutors counter that Nacchio's actions were more grave than typical insider trading cases and warrant a substantial sentence. In court filings, they argue Nacchio used his top position in the company to mislead investors, that he was motivated by greed, and that a tough sentence would deter others from insider trading.