The Redemption of Afshin Mohebbi By Attorney Paul Grand
FORBES, STREET TALK
By Robert Lenzner
April 4, 2011
Afshin Mohebbi, formerly President and Chief Operating Officer of Qwest Communications in the wake of its $65 billion acquisition of telephone giant USWEST, never sold a single share of stock in Qwest despite the much ballyhooed promotion of the national broadband network.
By comparison his boss, Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio, the subject of a Forbes cover story a decade ago, sold shares of Qwest aggressively after the merger went through, racking up revenues of about $100 million and private gains of some $52 million. Nacchio had personal knowledge the company’s earnings forecasts were not accurate.. For those ill-gotten gains, Nacchio was convicted on 19 counts of insider selling and sentenced to 70 months in prison and fined $19 million.
For the past 8 years Mohebbi has been fighting allegations by the SEC in a civil action accusing him of concealing information about improper accounting measures and transactions, or aiding and abetting “improper disclosures by others of the make up of Qwest’s revenue.”
A true nightmare that was finally resolved on March 31, 2011– that is less than a week ago- by a federal judge in Denver who finally ruled that the “alleged overstatements of revenue were ‘not due to any misconduct on Mr. Mohebbi’s part.”
This reprieve was due to the lawyering of my friend Paul Grand, a partner of the white-collar firm, Morvillo, Abramowitz , Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer, who says it was the most substantial and satisfying victory of his long legal career.
About Mohebbi, Grand
says; ” He is the only executive in
Grand believes that prosecutorial zeal has held up an innocent man’s life and career for 8 years. My client knew it was an improper thing to do to sell stock in the wake of a highly promoted broadband merger when the proof of its potential was very much up in the air and his personal coda of fair play and ethics would not allow him to take advantage of information not available to the public, Grand explained to me last week. He is very proud of handing Mohebbi back his personal freedom.