Supreme Court May Review Conviction Of Ex-Qwest CEO - InformationWeek

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Supreme Court May Review Conviction Of Ex-Qwest CEO

Joe Nacchio is serving six years in prison for illegal insider trading while head of the telecom firm.

Former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio, now residing in a Pennsylvania prison camp, has received the news that the United States Supreme Court may be considering a review of his conviction on insider-trading charges.

The high court has requested the entire record from Nacchio's earlier trials and appeals -- a move his attorneys said signaled that the court could be leaning toward a formal review of his case. Nacchio's petition to the Supreme Court was expected to be considered by the court last week, but when his appeal wasn't reported on Monday's list of appeals, it was assumed that the court hadn't yet made up its mind whether to hear Nacchio's appeal.

Nacchio's appeal is primarily based on two issues. First, he complained that the trial judge in a Denver Federal District Court improperly kept an expert witness from testifying on Nacchio's behalf on matters involving the National Security Agency. Second, Nacchio is contesting insider trading charges leveled against him that involved predictions of future financial results.

In 2007, Nacchio was initially convicted in a jury trial on charges that he sold $52 million in Qwest stock based on illegal insider information. Later he lost on appeal, but he has always maintained his innocence of all charges against him.

Nacchio is the last of the 1990s telecommunications executives to be indicted on illegal insider trading charges. He was sentenced to six years in prison earlier this year, thereby joining other imprisoned high-tech figures from the 1990s bubble years.

Government prosecutors have maintained that Nacchio's conviction should stand and that the trial judge who blocked the expert witness from testifying in Nacchio's trial properly excluded the witness from testifying.


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