Ex-Qwest CEO Didn't Foresee Trouble Ahead

Nacchio appeals conviction in $52M insider-trading deal
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2007 11:54 AM CDT
Joe Nacchio, the former head of Qwest Commincations arrives at the federal courthousewith his wife Anne in Denver, Colo., Friday, July 27, 2007, for sentencing on insider trading charges . Nacchio is...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Former Qwest chief Joseph Nacchio yesterday appealed an insider-trading conviction, claiming he couldn’t have known the telecommunications company was in dire straits when he sold $52 million in stock in 2001. Rebutting a federal court’s guilty finding on 19 counts, the brief asserts Nacchio “believed more than anyone else in the company’s future,” the Wall Street Journal reports. 

Executives testified they’d warned Nacchio that Qwest’s finances were in trouble; prosecutors said Nacchio nonetheless gave rosy predictions to investors. The appeal calls “extraordinary" the charge that anyone could know financial projections eight months in advance. It also maintains the defense shouldn’t have been barred from presenting classified evidence that Nacchio knew government contracts were in the pipeline.