Reports: Feds Ready to Indict Former Qwest CEO

Federal prosecutors are ready to go after former Qwest Communications International Inc. CEO Joe Nacchio, according to news reports.

The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News said today a federal grand jury is meeting in Denver as the feds prepare to seek a criminal indictment against Nacchio. Prosecutors have said the investigation focuses on insider trading and securities disclosure issues from 2000 to 2002.

Nacchio served as CEO of Qwest from 1997 to 2002, helping bolster the companys profile by building a 190,000-mile global network. But with broadband demand failing to materialize at the rate carriers anticipated, partially resulting in the subsequent collapse of telecom startups, Qwest found itself sitting on assets that generated significantly less cash flow than the debt required to acquire them.

Last March, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Nacchio and other former Qwest executives, contending they profited from a scheme to fraudulently boost revenue by $3 billion. The SEC says Qwest inflated revenue by booking profit from sales of capacity on the company’s fiber-optic network upfront rather than over the life of the deals. According to the SEC, Nacchio sold Qwest stock for a profit of $176.5 million from 1999 to 2001. Nacchio has repeatedly denied the charges.


Qwest Communications International Inc.

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