Former Qwest CEO Leaves Jail, Still Blames NSA
Back in 2009, you'll recall that former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio headed to prison
to serve a six-year prison sentence for cooking the books and insider trading. You might also recall that Nacchio claimed he was being punished
in part because Qwest (now CenturyLink) was the only US telco to refuse to participate in the government's warrantless wiretapping program.
Nacchio got out of jail last week, and the Wall Street Journal
has a paywalled story on his experiences in prison (and some new drug dealing friends Nacchio made while in there). More interesting perhaps is that Nacchio is still blaming his refusal to cooperate on domestic spying as the reason he was particularly singled out amidst an ocean of cooked books and dodgy financial dealings:
Mr. Nacchio said he still believes his insider-trading prosecution was government retaliation for rebuffing requests in 2001 from the National Security Agency to access his customers' phone records. His plans to use that belief as a defense at trial never materialized; some of the evidence he wanted to use was deemed classified and barred from being introduced.
To Mr. Nacchio, the revelations of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked documents saying the agency monitors the email and phone records of Americans, have justified his own stance. He contended the NSA's request was illegal. "I feel vindicated," he said. "I never broke the law, and I never will."
Nacchio adds that the former CEO is "still well-off financially, and still owns several residences"-- and plans to write a book on his dealings with the government.