Prosecutors want to keep Nacchio trial in Denver
The Denver Business Journal
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Federal prosecutors in the case against Joseph Nacchio are
asking a U.S. District Court judge to keep the trial in
Denver, despite claims from Nacchio's lawyers that the
former CEO of Denver-based Qwest Communications
International Inc. can't get a fair trial in the city.
Nacchio's attorneys earlier this month requested a change of
venue, saying he's considered one of the "most reviled
figures in recent Denver history."
But prosecutors said the defense's argument for moving the
trial relied "almost exclusively" on selective quotes from
"While press coverage of Qwest and the defendant has not
been insubstantial, it has been neither inflammatory nor
prejudicial. In fact, the majority of the examples
proffered by the defendant are objective, factual and
contain no mention of the defendant by name; a good
proportion of the coverage is of ordinary court proceedings
and motion practice," stated U.S. Attorney Troy Eid in a
motion opposing the change of venue.
Eid went on to say a vast majority of potential jurors in
the Denver jury division won't consist of former Qwest
The prosecutor also dismissed claims from Nacchio's
attorneys that holding the trail in Denver places a
significant burden on Nacchio, who lives in New Jersey.
"The defendant is a man of substantial means," Eid stated.
Nacchio is accused of selling $101 million in stock in 2001
based on inside information that the Baby Bell wouldn't be
able to meet revenue targets.
Federal prosecutors say Nacchio and other former Qwest
executives perpetrated financial fraud on investors. The
company later was forced to restate about $2.2 billion in
Robin Szeliga, the former chief financial officer for Qwest,
was sentenced July 28 to two years on probation, six months
of home detention and a $250,000 fine for her role in
Qwest's accounting scandal.
Szeliga, who pleaded guilty to one count of insider trading,
is expected to be a key witness in the government's case
against Nacchio, who was indicted on 42 charges of insider
trading in December.
A pretrial hearing for Nacchio is scheduled for Aug. 25.