The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it rejected an appeal by former Qwest Communications International Inc Chief Executive Joseph Nacchio of his insider trading conviction on the grounds that he did not get a fair trial.
Nacchio's attorneys had argued in the appeal to the nation's high court that he should be acquitted or at least given a new trial.
Nacchio was convicted in 2007 on 19 counts of insider trading related to sales of Qwest stock in 2001, after company officials warned him the company could not meet its financial targets. A U.S. appeals court in Denver, by a 5-4 vote, in February upheld his conviction.
Nacchio initially received a sentence that included six years in prison and an order to forfeit $52 million. He began serving his prison sentence in mid-April.
But a U.S. appeals court in July ruled the trial judge had incorrectly calculated Nacchio's true gain and held he should get a new sentence. Nacchio's sentence was not at issue in the Supreme Court case.
In his appeal, Nacchio's attorneys argued that the trial judge improperly excluded testimony from a key defense witness, financial expert and law professor Daniel Fischel.
They also said the appeals court erred by ruling there was sufficient evidence that Nacchio failed to disclose material information and knew it.
Once a star on Wall Street, Nacchio was among a number of corporate leaders convicted earlier in the decade of financial crimes. Others included WorldCom's Bernard Ebbers, Tyco International's Dennis Kozlowski and several top executives at Enron Corp, the energy company that collapsed in 2001.
The Supreme Court rejected the appeal without a comment. It sided with the U.S. Department of Justice, which said the appeals court ruling was correct and that further review of the case was unwarranted.
(Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)