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Ex-Qwest CEO Nacchio begins serving sentence for insider trading after losing appeals

[JURIST] Former Qwest Communications [corporate website] CEO Joseph Nacchio [JURIST news archive] on Tuesday began serving a six-year sentence for insider trading after the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website] denied [order, PDF] Monday his request [motion, PDF] to postpone imprisonment. Nacchio had argued that his surrender date should be delayed pending an appeal to the US Supreme Court. A three judge panel for the Tenth Circuit found that Nacchio had not met the criteria for release [18 USC § 3143(b)] because, "the showing as to even the more lenient [Supreme Court review standard urged by Nacchio] is insufficient: Mr. Nacchio has not shown that there is a reasonable chance that the Supreme Court will grant his petition." Nacchio also filed an emergency appeal with Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer [official biography, PDF] requesting that he be released on bail while the Court decides whether to hear his appeal. Breyer rejected the appeal without comment.

Nacchio reported to the minimum security prison camp at FCI Schuylkill [official website], marking an end to nearly two years of appellate proceedings following his April 2007 conviction [JURIST report] for illegally selling $52 million of Qwest stock in 2001. Nacchio's conviction was overturned [JURIST report] by a Tenth Circuit panel in March 2008 due to improperly excluded expert testimony, but was reinstated [opinion, PDF] in a February 2009 en banc rehearing requested [JURIST report] by the prosecution. Federal prosecutors indicted Nacchio in December 2005 on 42 counts of insider trading [JURIST report]. He and other former Qwest executives still face civil fraud charges [JURIST report] brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission [official website] on allegations that Qwest improperly reported approximately $3 billion in revenue that eased its 2000 merger with US West.

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