Former Qwest chief begins insider trading trial

Joe Nacchio, former chief executive at Qwest Communications, appeared in court Monday accused of insider trading.As the eagerly anticipated trial started, it emerged that the billionaire financier, Philip Anschutz, has been listed by Nacchio’s lawyers as a defence witness.

Nacchio, 57, is accused of selling more than $100m (£51.4m) of Qwest stock in 2001. It is alleged that he was told before he sold the stock that the company could not make its publicly stated revenue goals and that it was at financial risk. Soon after, Qwest became the subject of an accounting scandal and was forced to restate $2.2bn in revenue.

Judge Edward Nottingham could sentence Nacchio to 10 years and a $1m fine for each of the 42 counts of insider trading.

According to US reports, Nacchio’s defence will argue that he was confident Qwest would win several key contracts worth millions of dollars.

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