The Association of U S West Retirees

     Return to Media Page 

Former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio completes his prison sentence.

By Andy Vuong
The Denver Post

September 21, 2013

Former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio was officially released from U.S. Bureau of Prisons oversight on Friday, roughly four years and five months after he entered a federal prison camp to serve a 70-month term for illegal insider trading.

The Bureau of Prisons website shows that Nacchio became a free man Friday, one day before his previously scheduled release date. He had been under home detention since May after transferring to a halfway house in March. He entered a prison camp in Pennsylvania in April 2009 and was able to trim his sentence through good behavior and other factors.

Nacchio was convicted of illegal insider trading in 2007 for selling $52 million in Qwest stock in 2001 on the basis of nonpublic information about the Denver company’s deteriorating finances. He has contended that he had a bright outlook on the company at the time of the stock sales.

What’s next for Nacchio? He declined comment for an article I wrote recently on the topic.

“Mr. Nacchio has advised me that insofar as he has not yet concluded his sentence, he is not, at this time, granting interviews or making commitments for same,” said his attorney, Thomas Gentile.

Other former white collar criminals have gone on to write books, enter the public speaking circuit and rejoin the corporate world

Joe Nacchio outside federal court in Denver in 2007. (Denver Post file photo)

A settlement with the SEC tied to a civil fraud lawsuit bars Nacchio from serving as a director or officer of a publicly traded company.

Nacchio’s former lieutenant’s have taken different career paths since leaving Qwest. One invests in startups, while another launched his own in Texas. Another spent years in the nonprofit sector and is now a life and career coach.

The Association of US West Retirees, whose members were vocal critics of Nacchio, is scheduled to dissolve at the end of 2013.

Qwest was acquired by Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink in 2011. While the CenturyLink name sits atop Qwest’s once-iconic headquarters building at 1801 California St., the telecom company’s operations has dwindled in downtown Denver. The 52-story tower was only 39 percent occupied earlier this year, according to DenverUrbanism.