Ex-Qwest CEO seeks delays in civil case
By Sandy Shore, AP Business Writer
Friday, May 18, 2007
DENVER - Former Qwest Communications chief Joe Nacchio sought
Thursday to delay some proceedings in a civil fraud case against
him while he pursues an appeal of his insider trading
conviction. Nacchio, who resigned as Qwest's chief executive
officer in June 2002, asked a federal judge for more time to
answer the allegations in the civil case, to participate in the
evidence discovery process and to be scheduled last among the
five defendants to give a deposition.
Securities and Exchange Commission attorneys have agreed to the
request, Nacchio's lawyer, Joel Silverstein, wrote in a brief
filed in U.S. District Court.
The requested delays will protect Nacchio's rights as
proceedings continue in the criminal case, Silverstein wrote.
"The similarity of issues between this action and the criminal
proceeding against Mr. Nacchio weighs heavily in favor of
granting the requested protective order," Silverstein said.
Nacchio was convicted last month of illegally selling $52
million worth of stock during April and May of 2001 when he knew
the company faced financial risks but didn't tell investors. He
faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million on
each count at his July 27 sentencing. He plans to appeal.
During an April 26 hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer
told Nacchio's attorneys it was in the best interests of the
public and the other defendants for the two-year-old SEC case to
proceed. However, he said Nacchio's attorneys could file a
motion that could potentially delay proceedings.
In the civil case, regulators alleged Nacchio and other Qwest
executives manufactured a financial fraud that forced the
Denver-based telecommunications company to restate $2.2 billion
The SEC has said the fraud occurred between April 1999 and March
2002, allowing Qwest to improperly report approximately $3
billion in revenue that helped pave the way for its 2000
acquisition of former Baby Bell U S West.
The regulatory agency wants repayment and civil penalties, with
amounts to be determined at trial.
The other remaining defendants in the SEC lawsuit include former
Qwest President Afshin Mohebbi, former Chief Financial Officer
Robert Woodruff, and former Qwest accountants James Kozlowski
and Frank T. Noyes.