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
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
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
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