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Insider trading trial of former Qwest CEO starts in federal court

[JURIST] The US District Court for the District of Colorado [official website] began jury selection Monday in the trial [materials; docket] of former Qwest Communications [corporate website] CEO Joseph Nacchio [AP profile]. Nacchio was indicted on 42 counts of insider trading [JURIST report] in December 2005 for allegedly selling off more than $100 million in Qwest stock in conjunction with the Denver-based telephone service provider's accounting scandal. Nacchio faces up to ten years in prison and a $1 million fine for each of the 42 counts. The trial may last as long as eight weeks. AP has more.

Nacchio and other executives also face a class action lawsuit [JURIST report] and civil charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission [JURIST report]. Another former Qwest employee, ex-Vice President Marc Weisberg, pleaded guilty to wire fraud [JURIST report] in December 2005 and agreed to help prosecutors build a case against Nacchio.

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