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Judge sets rules for sentencing in Nacchio case
Government wants the former Qwest CEO, convicted in April, to serve more than seven years.
By Andy Vuong, Staff Writer
Denver Post
Thursday, July 19, 2007

U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham on Wednesday filed his courtroom rules for the sentencing of former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio, who was convicted on 19 counts of illegal insider trading in April.

Nacchio's sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on July 27.

"No conversations or gestures that would disrupt the proceedings ... are permitted," Nottingham wrote in his order, filed in Denver federal court Wednesday.

Media coverage during Nacchio's month-long trial was intense, and the courtroom was packed on several occasions.

Nottingham has reserved 22 spaces for the media in the courtroom, which seats about 110 people.

Nottingham will use the same second-floor courtroom he used for jury selection, which seats about 45 more people than the one used during the trial.

Public seating will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.  There will be a live video feed in a 10th-floor overflow room that seats about 65.

The rules are similar to his guidelines for the trial, which began March 19 and ended April 19.

The government has recommended that Nacchio serve seven years and three months in prison, pay $19 million in fines and forfeit $52 million in gains connected to his stock sales.

Nacchio's attorneys have asked for a "downward departure" on his sentence because of "extraordinary circumstances concerning the effect that a lengthy period of incarceration will have on the health and potential life expectancy of two of his immediate family members."

The family members haven't been identified.

Nacchio's attorneys also noted his charity work.

They have also said Nacchio should be required to forfeit no more than $1.8 million, which is the amount a defense expert has said Nacchio gained from selling on the basis of material inside information.

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

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_6407909