Today's Denver Post is reporting on what lies ahead for former Qwest CEO and convicted felon, Joe Nacchio. For a man worth hundreds of millions of dollars; someone who is used to giving the orders, not taking them; it will be a hard fall. Apparently, prison reform has gotten rid of the so-called "country club prisons", or "Club Fed". To quote one of my favorite movies, Office Space, it won't be a "pound me in the ass prison", but it won't be a vacation either.
If sentenced to serve time, it is estimated that Felon Joe will spend eight to fifteen years in the big house. While he could get 190 years based on 19 guilty counts, each carrying potential ten year terms, federal sentencing guidelines will likely give him a break there. Still, what an eight to ten years it will be. First, Felon Joe will be awakened promptly at six a.m. to begin his new job at some actual work, such as a painter, plumber, groundskeeper, or some similar trade. He will make somewhere between 12¢ to 45¢ an hour, which he can use at the commissary, or...this is too good...to pay for his phone bills! Former CEO of Qwest Communications International having to pay phone bills for his calls from prison! Plus, he will not be allowed to receive phone calls at all.
All of that is sweet justice, but it gets even better. As it turns out, once you are a convicted felon, your personal fortune gets pretty much taken away. Nacchio allegedly transferred $90-million to his wife's accounts, and then she went and purchased a $9.5-million dollar estate in Jupiter, Florida. Despite Florida's generous homestead exemption laws, the conviction means that the Florida mansion, the one in New Jersey, and all the money could be seized by the feds to payback Qwest shareholders duped by this criminal. And this is all before the civil suits against him ever begin.
As a human being, I do have some compassion for Felon Joe. I am sorry he was so crooked to ruin the lives of so many, including his own. His greed and lust for power blinded him to the evil he did, or perhaps made him feel entitled to play by rules the rest of us must abide by. Of course, in prison, Felon Joe will get something not yet available to many in this country...health care provided by the government.
When it gets down to it though, and this is purely my own opinion, is that Joe was passed over for the top spot at AT&T, so he jumped over to Qwest with the ultimate goal of showing them what a mistake they made at AT&T. I even think he could have been aspiring to have his old company bought out by the upstart Qwest. In the end, Felon Joe proved that AT&T judged correctly in selecting someone else to run that company.
I suppose he never learned that lesson of childhood; that if you get too big for your britches, you are gonna take a fall.