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July 27, 2007

Sentencing reqwests in Qwest sentencing

As detailed in this story from the Rocky Mountain News, today Joe Nacchio, the former Qwest CEO, will be sentenced by US District Judge Edward Nottingham following his April conviction on 19 counts of insider trading.  Here are highlights of what the parties are requesting Judge Nottingham to consider:

Prosecutors are asking Nottingham to order Nacchio to forfeit the $52 million [allegedly grossed on illegal stock sales]....  Prosecutors also want a $19 million fine — the maximum fine of $1 million for each count on which the jury returned a guilty verdict.  And they’re asking for the maximum prison sentence that federal guidelines will allow — seven years, three months. "Any lesser sentence would send a message of tolerance of the egregious behavior proven at trial," Assistant U.S. Attorney James Hearty wrote in the government’s sentencing brief.

Nacchio’s attorneys are asking for a lesser prison sentence, though they have not stated publicly what term they’re seeking. They’ve asked Nottingham to consider two issues when deciding his fate: the health of two immediate family members and Nacchio’s charitable works.  The defense has not said which family members would be affected if Nacchio goes to prison, but they are believed to be his oldest son, David, who has attempted suicide, and Nacchio’s elderly mother.  Nacchio’s lawyers also say his fine should be a maximum of $6 million, and he should be ordered to forfeit no more than $1.8 million — the amount a defense- hired expert has determined was the financial gain Nacchio enjoyed because of the nonpublic, or "insider," information.

A group of local attorneys polled by the Rocky Mountain News predicted Nottingham will sentence Nacchio to five to six years in prison.  They disagreed on the fine and forfeiture, though most said it’s unlikely Nottingham will agree with the defense’s $1.8 million argument.

Any predictions, informed readers?

July 27, 2007 at 07:49 AM | Permalink

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Comments

I'm interested to see how the money issues will play out. I find the governments calculation to be arbitrary and the defense's 1.8 million is ridiculous. Will he be settling up the fine and disgorgement with the SEC at the same time?

Posted by: | Jul 27, 2007 12:34:16 PM

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