When the U.S. Department of Justice launched a securities fraud investigation into Denver-based Qwest Communications International in 2006, the resultant criminal probe became the widest white-collar prosecutions in Colorado in some 30 years. As the vice-president of investor relations for the telecommunications carrier, Lee Wolfe reported directly to Joe Nacchio, Qwest’s chief executive.
Wolfe became one of the main targets of federal regulators and prosecutors until Mark Johnson obtained an immunity agreement from federal prosecutors for his client, resulting in no filing of criminal charges against him. Wolfe was able to avoid prosecution and ultimately became the central witness in the government’s insider-trading prosecution of Nacchio.
Johnson also represented Wolfe in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil fraud case filed against Qwest executives. Wolfe’s trial testimony was reported in the New York Times in a March 22, 2007 article, “Ex-Qwest Official Says Chief Was Misleading on Growth.” Bloomberg also covered the Wolfe testimony in its article, “Qwest’s Nacchio Dismissed Queries, Witness Testifies.”