CEO: Qwest International
Convicted: 4/19/2007 of insider trading. Appeal pending.
In the wake of a multibillion-dollar accounting scandal that nearly destroyed the Denver-based telecommunications company, former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio was convicted in April 2007 on 19 counts of insider trading. Prosecutors said he illegally sold $52 million in stock in 2001, even as he knew the company was taking on water. Nacchio was sentenced to 6 years in prison but remained free on $2 million bail pending an appeal.
In 2008, a U.S. appeals court overturned Nacchio's conviction, saying a key expert witness had been wrongfully barred from testifying. But the ruling was hardly a vote of confidence in the disgraced executive: the judges also concluded there was sufficient evidence to convict him. This February the guilty verdict was reinstated, and Nacchio was ordered him to serve out the remainder of his term. In a last-ditch effort to stay out of the slammer, Nacchio asked a federal judge in March to reconsider his request to remain free on bail while he appealed to the Supreme Court for a new trial. No such luck: in April he was ordered to report to prison. Nacchio is now sharing a cell at a minimum-security Federal prison camp at Minersville, Pa. His Supreme Court appeal is still pending.
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