Denver (AP) A federal judge has sentenced former Qwest Communications Chief Executive Joe Nacchio to six years in prison for his insider trading conviction. U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham also ordered Nacchio to forfeit $52 million dollars in assets he gained in illegal stock sales, and imposed a maximum $19 million fine.
Nacchio was convicted in April of making $52 million in stock sales at a time when he knew Qwest faced financial risk but didn't tell investors.
Nottingham said “the crimes the defendant has been found guilty of are crimes of overarching greed.”
Nacchio declined to testify at his sentencing hearing.
Nacchio turned to look at his wife and son and nodded slightly as the sentence was handed down, and son Michael nodded back.
Nacchio used a handkerchief to wipe his eyes as Nottingham discussed his son, David, but was not in tears when the sentence was read.
At one point, Nacchio, his wife, Anne, and son, Michael, broke into tears as defense attorney Herbert Stern described the mental health problems of Nacchio's other son, David, in arguing for a lesser sentence.
David's suicide attempt prompted his father to consider resigning in January 2001, according to trial testimony. Defense attorneys pointed to that emotional time for Nacchio as part of their argument that he was not guilty.
Nottingham earlier denied a defense motion for an acquittal and for a new trial, dismissing claims that jurors were swayed by damaging pretrial publicity.
Denver-based Qwest communications international is the primary telephone service provider in 14 Midwestern and Western states.