SEC slaps Nacchio's wrist, attorney says

Sept. 8, 2010 at 1:23 PM

DENVER, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has let convicted Qwest executive Joe Nacchio off with a slap on the wrist, a former SEC attorney said.

The SEC last week said it had agreed to settle a lawsuit against the former chief executive officer with $19 million in fines after originally seeking to recover $216 million from Nacchio, The Denver Post reported Wednesday.

Former SEC attorney Peter Henning said the settlement, "comes at a very low cost to Nacchio."

In the settlement Nacchio agreed not to appeal the fines and to pay $44 million, which was the sum he had already been ordered to pay by a criminal court, where he was convicted of insider trading.

The case revolves around Qwest Communications executives allegedly adding $3 billion in extra revenue to its financial statements from 1999 through 2001.

Eight of 12 executives in the case have settled charges against them, including Nacchio, who is expected to appeal his criminal conviction, the newspaper said.

The criminal court sentenced Nacchio to a prison term of five years and 10 months.

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