Court convicts ex-Qwest chief on insider trading lawsuit

Joe Nacchio, a former AT&T executive tapped to transform Qwest Communications into a major telecommunications competitor, was convicted of 19 of 42 insider trading charges after one-time top executives described his relentless drive to meet revenue projections without revealing financial risks, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said a US District Court jury deliberated six days before concluding on 19 counts that the former Qwest chief executive illegally sold stock in April and May of 2001, when he knew the company faced financial challenges and relied heavily on one-time sales to meet revenue targets.

The jury acquitted him on the other 23 counts stemming from sales in January and February, the report said.

The report said Judge Edward Nottingham set a July 27 sentencing date for Nacchio, who is free on $2 million bail.
Each count carries a potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

'We certainly will appeal,' defense attorney Herbert Stern was quoted by the report as saying.

Nacchio, who still faces a civil fraud lawsuit, declined to comment. The 12 jurors left the courthouse without commenting.

Nacchio, 57, was accused of selling $101 million worth of stock in the first five months of 2001 based on inside information that Qwest faced financial risks, the report further said.

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