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Former Qwest CEO Drops Appeal Of Sentence

DENVER (AP) - Former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio filed a motion Friday asking to withdraw his final appeal of his prison sentence for insider trading convictions.

Nacchio filed the motion with the 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Denver seeking to drop the appeal contesting the length of his sentence. The request requires court approval.

A jury convicted Nacchio in 2007 on 19 counts of insider trading. He was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to pay a $19 million fine and forfeit $52 million.

However, the federal appeals court ruled the sentence was too harsh because a judge miscalculated Nacchio's net gains from stock sales allegedly based on insider information. A judge last year shaved two months from the prison term and $7.4 million from the forfeiture amount.

Nacchio said in a court filing that he is voluntarily choosing to withdraw the appeal of the new sentence, said John Walsh, U.S. attorney for Colorado.

"If the court grants his request and dismisses his appeal," Walsh said, "that dismissal will also result in lifting the hold on money Nacchio paid for his fine and forfeiture, which has been held for years in escrow during his appeals."

The money can be used to compensate victims of Nacchio's crime, among other purposes allowed under the law, Walsh said.

Nacchio resigned from Denver-based Qwest Communications International Inc. in 2002. His lawyers pushed for a sentence of three years and five months in prison and a $3.6 million fine. They described him as a working-class couple's son who rose to become the No. 3 executive at AT&T Inc. before leading Qwest.

In 2009, Nacchio started serving his prison sentence in Pennsylvania.

Last month, a federal judge approved a settlement of a civil lawsuit the Securities and Exchange Commission filed against Nacchio.