AUSWR
The Association of U S West Retirees
 

 

 

'09 start likely for Nacchio's civil trial
The government will file for a summary judgment in the SEC's suit against the former CEO of Qwest. 
By Andy Vuong, Staff Writer 
Denver Post 
Thursday, June 28, 2007

The earliest the Securities and Exchange Commission's civil fraud case against former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio and other former company officials will go to trial is 2009, based on deadlines set Wednesday by a magistrate judge.

Also, SEC attorney Polly Atkinson indicated during the 90-minute hearing that the government plans to file a motion for summary judgment against Nacchio in mid-August, essentially asking the judge to find him guilty in the SEC case.  Nacchio is scheduled to be sentenced July 27 on his criminal conviction on 19 counts of illegal insider trading.

The SEC alleges in its March 2005 civil lawsuit that Nacchio and other former Qwest officials fraudulently boosted revenue by $3 billion from 1999 to 2002.  Denver-based Qwest later restated much of that revenue.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer said during Wednesday's hearing that the parties in the case will have until Sept. 15, 2008, to conduct depositions.  The parties had proposed a deadline of Dec. 31, 2008, but Shaffer said he wanted to move the case at a more expeditious pace.

Shaffer gave the parties until Oct. 15, 2008, to submit documents on proposed expert witnesses and until Dec. 1, 2008, to file documents for proposed rebuttal witnesses.  Shaffer said he is leaning toward not allowing depositions of any expert witnesses.

The other defendants in the case are former Qwest president Afshin Mohebbi, former chief financial officer Robert Woodruff and former accountants Frank Noyes and James Kozlowski.

The defendants and the SEC have identified a total of 201 people they want to depose.

Nacchio's list of depositions includes 18 witnesses connected to his classified information defense, which was raised during pretrial hearings of the criminal case but was barely discussed during trial.

Nacchio, convicted on 19 counts of illegal insider trading for stock sales from April to May 2001, was not at the hearing.  Experts have said he will probably receive eight to 15 years in prison for the criminal conviction.

Atkinson said the case may look different in mid-August after the SEC files a motion for summary judgment against Nacchio.

Nacchio's New Jersey-based attorney Jeffrey Speiser took offense at Atkinson's remarks.

Speiser said Nacchio's conviction for crimes committed during a one-month period doesn't completely undermine his defense against charges that span three years.

Staff writer Andy Vuong can be reached at 303-954-1209 or avuong@denverpost.com.

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_6245608