Denies Nacchio Case Dismissal Motion
By Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer
Saturday, March 25, 2006
DENVER (AP) - A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a
42-count insider trading case against former Qwest chief
Joseph Nacchio but ordered prosecutors to give his attorneys
detailed information about financial documents on which they
based the allegations.
U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham also said he hoped to
start a trial in the fall but would not set a date until he
had a better idea of issues that may arise as a result of
Nacchio's classified business dealings with the government.
Defense attorneys have been unable to question Nacchio about
classified information he may have as a result of those
dealings which they believe gave the former chief executive
officer hope about financial prospects for Qwest. The phone
company later restated billions of dollars in revenue in
wake of an accounting scandal.
Attorney Herbert Stern told Nottingham the lawyers just
received the security clearance Friday that will allow them
to interview Nacchio and review the documents before
deciding whether any can be used in his defense. They hope
to set up the meeting by April 21.
Nacchio, 56, was absent from the late afternoon hearing
which dealt primarily with defense motions seeking more
information about the specifics behind the indictment that
was handed up in December. The next pretrial conference was
set June 9.
Nacchio has been accused of selling $101 million in stock in
2001 based on inside knowledge that Qwest Communications
International Inc. would be unable to meet revenue targets
because it had improperly used nonrecurring revenue to meet
Each count carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and
a $1 million fine. Nacchio has pleaded not guilty and
remains free on bail.
In a motion to dismiss, defense attorneys argued the
indictment lacked specifics to support allegations that
Nacchio knew Qwest's public statements about financial
targets were "extremely aggressive" and a "huge stretch" as
stated in the charges.
"The accuracy of the projections by Qwest are at the heart
of the case," Stern told Nottingham.
The judge ordered prosecutors to identify for defense
attorneys the material nonpublic information, financial
targets and historical data that they referred to in the