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Nacchio asks for leniency
Kin's health should be weighed in sentencing, lawyers say
By Tom McGhee, Staff Writer
Denver Post
Sunday, July 8, 2007

Judge Edward Nottingham should consider the perilous health of two of Joe Nacchio's family members before agreeing to the 10-year sentence prosecutors say he deserves for illegal insider trading, Nacchio's lawyers said in court documents filed Friday.

In a document also filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Denver, prosecutors dismissed the argument and others submitted by Nacchio's lawyers.

The 40-page statement by prosecutors calls for 10 years of incarceration followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of $19 million, and payback of proceeds from illegal trades amount to $52 million.

"Any less severe sentence would fail to provide just punishment, to promote respect for the law and to protect the public," the statement said.

"Mr. Nacchio submits that ... because of extraordinary circumstances concerning the effect that a lengthy period of incarceration will have on the health and potentially even the life expectancy of two of his immediate family members and because of Mr. Nacchio's good works," he should not have to serve the full sentence, according to his court filing.

The motion doesn't identify the family members, and Nacchio's lawyer, John Richilano, couldn't be reached for comment.

The government's sentencing statement said a departure from guidelines is warranted only where the defendant is the only one able to provide assistance to a family member.

"The defendant's wife has the time and the resources to take care of other family members," the statement read.

It also says it is normal for high ranking corporate defendants to be involved in charity, civic organizations and church efforts.  Nacchio's charitable works were "entirely consistent" with Qwest's business-development goals.

Nacchio's lawyers contend, however, that he shouldn't have to pay the $52 million gained in the stock transactions.  That amount would include fees he paid out to complete his sales of stock and options and $16 million paid in taxes by Qwest on those sales.

But the government disagreed with those calculations and said in its statement that he should pay the full amount.