這blog 起步晚， 沒有恭逢美國對於大公司最高負責人的起訴風潮。
Former Qwest CEO Nacchio
Is Sentenced to Six Years
DENVER -- Joseph Nacchio, the former chief of one-time high flyer Qwest Communications International Inc. who was convicted of insider trading, was sentenced to six years in federal prison and was ordered to forfeit $52 million he gained in illegal stock sales. He was also issued a $19 million fine.
Mr. Nacchio's attorneys are planning to appeal. To handle his appeal Mr. Nacchio has hired Maureen Mahoney, a high-profile lawyer best known for her victories before the Supreme Court. She represented Arthur Andersen in 2005 when its criminal conviction was overturned and the University of Michigan Law School in its 2003 defense of its affirmative-action policy.
In April Mr. Nacchio was convicted in federal court here of 19 counts of insider trading for selling $52 million worth stock in the spring of 2001 while knowing that his company's finances were in trouble. He also faces a Securities and Exchange Commission civil fraud suit.
Mr. Nacchio plans to ask the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to serve out his sentence in a minimum security prison in or near New Jersey, which is where he has a home and is near to many family members.
The Nacchio criminal case is among the last of a series of prominent prosecutions of corporate executives brought in recent years.
Prosecutors said Mr. Nacchio, a charismatic and blunt CEO who was hand-picked to lead Qwest by its founder Phil Anschutz, maintained an overly optimistic outlook on his company's finances even as the telecom bubble was showing signs of strain in 2000 and 2001 and his underlings told him his optimism might be a stretch. Mr. Nacchio resigned in 2002 as Qwest's stock nosedived. The company eventually restated two years of results, eliminating $2.48 billion of revenue for 2000 and 2001.
During his trial this spring, Mr. Nacchio's attorneys said the former CEO couldn't have "knowingly and willfully" engaged in insider trading at the time because he was consumed by a suicide attempt by one of his sons. His son's suicide attempt had been a family secret but he revealed it because his state of mind was an issue.
Mr. Nacchio's attorneys also said other Qwest executives' concerns were based on whether they could meet internal revenue targets, which were tied to their bonuses. Mr. Nacchio did not testify, and his defense was extremely brief. Mr. Nacchio had asked the judge for leniency in sentencing partly based on his son's mental health state, as well as the former executives "prior good works."
Ms. Mahoney, a former clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist and one-time United States Deputy Solicitor General, declined comment on possible appeals. But a recent defense filing from Ms. Mahoney seeking to keep Mr. Nacchio out of prison pending his appeal lays out the issues that Mr. Nacchio is likely to argue to try to overturn his conviction.
His appeal will likely focus on whether the judge erred in instructing the jury about "materiality." In a brief filed earlier this week, Ms. Mahoney raises the question of whether the warnings about Qwest's finances conveyed to Mr. Nacchio by his executive team were materially different from the sunny outlook he conveyed to investors and analysts.
The brief argues that "predictions are inherently limited and uncertain" and "financial predictions are not materially misleading so long as the company believes them in good faith." The filing also highlights that Qwest's chief financial officer and auditors also signed off on Mr. Nacchio's financial guidance.
In the filing, Mr. Nacchio's attorneys also object to the judge's exclusion of an expert witness, an economics professor, who they say could have rebutted analysts testifying for the prosecution who said they were upset upon learning about Qwest's questionable accounting practices.
Another issue likely to surface in the appeal is Mr. Nacchio's classified defense that he was upbeat about Qwest's financial prospects because he knew the company was going to receive lucrative, secret government contracts. The run-up to the trial was marked by at least seven closed pre-trial hearings where classified information apparently was discussed. Judge Nottingham barred some parts of the classified defense, and the matter barely surfaced at trial.
"The rulings effectively deprived the defendant of the opportunity to provide the jury with information that bore directly on his good faith and could have led to an acquittal," the defense filing said.
Write to Dionne Searcey at email@example.com