Business & Finance
News
4/11/2007
03:23 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Ex-Qwest Chief Nacchio's Case Heads To The Jury

Opposing lawyers wrap up arguments in $101 million insider trading trial, as jury waits for the case.

The fate of former Qwest Communications chief executive Joseph Nacchio, and the $101 million of Qwest stock he sold during the height of the technology bubble, is going to a federal court jury in Denver, as opposing sides in Nacchio's trial wound up their arguments Wednesday.

The trial is the last major case involving top executive stock sales during the telecommunications and technology bubble and its collapse in 2001. Nacchio took over Qwest in 1997 as the bubble inflated, fueled in large part by overconfidence in the real and imaged possibilities of fiber cable and the Internet. In the criminal case, he is charged with illegally selling Qwest stock while, at the same time, praising the firm's future, even as the company's business began to slip dramatically.

Jury deliberations were expected to get under way at the conclusion of arguments.

Nacchio's lawyers have maintained his sales of Qwest stock were legal and he was optimistic about the company's future. Prosecutors have charged that Nacchio knew full well the firm was in trouble while he was selling his stock.

"This is a case about cheating," said Assistant U.S. Attorney James Hearty as he summed up the government's case for the jury last month. "He sold $100 million worth of Qwest stock when he knew about problems at Qwest -- problems that people outside Qwest did not know."

Nacchio's attorneys have countered that he sold the Qwest stock according to a schedule that was in place with Qwest founder Philip Anschutz and his decisions to sell did not involve any inside information.

A total of 42 counts of insider trading have been leveled against Nacchio; each one could carry a 10-year prison sentence, as well as fines sought by the government.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July10, 2014
When selecting servers to support analytics, consider data center capacity, storage, and computational intensity.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join InformationWeek’s Lorna Garey and Mike Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, an engineering and research firm focused on maximizing technology investments, to discuss the right way to go digital.
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.