Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Joe Nacchio, the former Qwest CEO was indicted yesterday (see Denver Post here). The indictment (Download nacchio_indictment.pdf) charges forty-two counts that are titled "Securities Fraud - Insider Trading.". It also includes a forfeiture count for the sum of $100,812,582.
Despite the number of counts and the inclusion of forfeiture, the entire indictment is only eight (8) pages long. Co-blogger Peter Henning in the Denver Post, "called the indictment 'bare bones.' 'They don't even try to link any of the information to any of the specific trading, which is uncommon,' he said." The essence of the criminality as alleged in the indictment is that:
"Beginning on or about January 2, 2001, and continuing through and including September 10, 2001, NACCHIO, in the District of Colorado and elsewhere, did knowingly and willfully, directly and indirectly, by the use of means and instrumentalities of interstate commerce and of the mails, and the facilities of a national securities exchange use and employ, in connection with the purchase and sale of a security registered on a national securities exchange, a manipulative and deceptive device, scheme, artifice or contrivance to defraud in contravention of Rule 10b-5 (17 C.F.R.§ 240.10b-5) and Rule 10b5-1 (17 C.F.R. § 240.10b5-1) prescribed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. More specifically, NACCHIO, in furtherance of this scheme to defraud, did knowingly and willfully sell, using the instrumentalities of interstate commerce and the facilities of a national securities exchange more than $100 million worth of Qwest common stock on the dates and in the amounts set forth in Counts 1 through 42 while aware of and on the basis of material, non-public information on or about the dates and in the amounts set forth below." [the indictment lists the specific amounts]
According to the Denver Post, Attorneys Herbert Stern and John Richilano will be representing Nacchio and he will be pleading "Not Guilty."
One cannot discern from this indictment whether the government intends to try and prove this case through a witness, through correspondence, or via an email. There is no indication from this limited indictment as to how the government intends to try and prove that the accused acted "knowingly and willfully" in engaging in the alleged conduct.