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Nacchio ‘cheated’ prosecution alleges

The jury in the trial against Joe Nacchio, former chief executive at Qwest Communications, was told by the prosecution Tuesday that the accused had cheated in his attempts to siphon money from the failing company.

The prosecution alleges that Nacchio dumped $101m (£51.45m) worth of stock during the opening months of 2001 because he knew the company was in financial trouble.

Prosecutor James Hearty told the jury that “this is a case about cheating… he sold $100m worth of Qwest stock when he knew about problems at Qwest – problems that people outside Qwest did not know.”

The defence argues that Nacchio was so confident in his company’s future that he did not want to sell his shares and requested an extension from the board in 2001, only to be turned down.

The defence is arguing that Nacchio was optimistic about the firm’s financial condition because his secret work on a top presidential advisory panel led him to believe that Qwest was in line to land some major federal contracts.

The panel was President Bush’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee , or NSTAC.

Defence lawyer Herbert Stern, promised the jury that he would demonstrate that the insider dealing charges against his client, are false.

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