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Judge Orders Ex-Qwest CEO Nacchio To Prison

Former Baby Bell chief Joe Nacchio is to begin serving a six-year sentence this month at a minimum-security facility in Pennsylvania.
The prison doors at Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania are slated to close March 23 behind former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio, who has been ordered to begin serving a six-year term at the minimum-security institution.

Nacchio is the latest major indicted executive of the telecommunications bubble to be sentenced for profiting from illegal insider stock trading. A leading figure in the go-go telecom era of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Nacchio joins Bernie Ebbers, WorldCom's former CEO, who is serving a 25-year sentence at Oakdale Federal Correctional Complex in Louisiana.

Nacchio was found guilty by a federal jury in Denver a year ago, but has so far avoided beginning a prison term as a series of appeals have dragged out. He still has a slim last-ditch chance to avoid or delay serving prison time if his attorneys can persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case -- an unlikely occurrence in the view of most legal experts.

U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Krieger this week ordered Nacchio to report to the Pennsylvania institution, which Nacchio had requested. "Travel will be at his own expense," Judge Krieger said. A New Jersey resident, Nacchio never set up a permanent address in Colorado while he was at the helm of the former Baby Bell.

While inmates at the Schuylkill facility are locked up, they have certain amenities. Inmates can participate in team sports such as softball and soccer. No concertina wire surrounds the institution, which is bordered by white lines. Nacchio, once incarcerated, will wear a prison uniform and share living space with a cellmate.

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