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June 24, 2010

Much ado about two months in the resentencing of former Qwest chief Joe Nacchio

As noted in this first report from the Denver Post, the "federal judge handling former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio's resentencing has imposed a sentence of 70 months and ordered him to pay $19 million in fines and $44.6 million in forfeitures."  Here what that means:

The sentence determined by U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger cuts two months off of Nacchio's current sentence and reduces his forfeitures by just more than $7 million....

Nacchio has served 14 months of a six-year sentence for illegal insider trading.  A federal appeals panel last summer granted Nacchio a new sentence, ruling that trial judge Edward Nottingham miscalculated how much Nacchio gained from illegally selling Qwest stock based on nonpublic information that the company was faltering financially.

As detailed in this TalkLeft post, Judge Krieger earlier had indicated that "she accepted the Government's version of the amount of loss and is putting it at 28 to 32 million, which [put Nacchio's] guidelines [at] 63 to 78 months."  In other words, Nacchio was given a within-guideline sentence this time around and can now plan to get back to his life and family a couple months earlier than originally slated.

I had expected Nacchio to do a bit better this time around, though I suppose being able to hold on to an additional $7 million dollars is not inconsequential.  It will be interesting to see if Nacchio might use some of these monies to fund another round of appeals of his federal prison sentence. 

June 24, 2010 at 05:25 PM | Permalink


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He and his wife had at net worth of $421 million in 2001, so he'll probably have something left over when he gets out of prison.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Jun 24, 2010 7:08:05 PM

hard to believe the Court of Appeals reversed his sentence so he could get another sentence nearly identical.

Posted by: DavidG | Jun 25, 2010 8:18:42 AM

The appellate court reversal was on the narrow grounds that the loss amount was calculated using the wrong methodology and had to be recalculated based on new evidence concerning its amount. But, either method produced a huge number for the economic scale of the offense, and the judge found that the defense argument for a dramatically lower dollar amount using the right methodology was not convincing.

The appeal was certainly worth it to Nacchio. It saved him $7 million dollars, and since he is not insolvent, that is real money. Best case scenario, he could have shaved his sentence by about 20 months, a long time, but still small compared to $7 million of savings.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Jun 25, 2010 5:13:44 PM

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