July 26, 2007 3:42 PM
Nearing Judgment Day
Former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio will be sentenced Friday on 19 counts of insider trading.
Prosecutors are recommending a prison term of seven years, three months. They want Nacchio to be fined the full $19 million -- $1 million for each count -- and to be ordered to forfeit the $52 million of gross proceeds from his illegal stock sales in April and May 2001.
The defense maintains Nacchio should forfeit only $1.8 million, which puts the recommended sentence at 30 to 41 months. Defense attorneys are arguing for further leniency, saying Nacchio is needed by his oldest son David, who has emotional issues and attempted suicide when Nacchio was CEO of Qwest.
If U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham issues a prison sentence as many expect, another key issue will be how long Nacchio will be allowed to be free before reporting to prison. Nacchio's attorneys this week filed a motion arguing their client should be free on bail pending appeal.