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Nacchio convicted in insider trading case

DENVER -- Joe Nacchio, a former AT&T executive tapped to transform Qwest Communications into a major telecommunications competitor, was convicted yesterday on 19 of 42 insider trading charges after one-time top executives described his relentless drive to meet revenue projections without revealing financial risks.

A US District Court jury deliberated six days before concluding that the former Qwest chief executive illegally sold stock when he knew the company faced financial challenges and relied heavily on one-time sales to meet revenue targets. He was found not guilty of the other 23 counts.

Judge Joe Nottingham set a July 27 sentencing date for Nacchio, who is free on $2 million bail. Each count carries a potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

"Convicted felon Joe Nacchio' has a very nice ring to it," boasted Troy Eid, the US attorney for Colorado. "We certainly will appeal," defense attorney Herbert Stern said.

Nacchio, 57, who still faces a civil fraud lawsuit, declined to comment.