AUSWR
The Association of U S West Retirees
 

 

 

The Redemption of Afshin Mohebbi By Attorney Paul Grand

 

FORBES, STREET TALK

By Robert Lenzner

April 4, 2011

 

Afshin Mohebbi, formerly  President and Chief Operating Officer of  Qwest Communications in the wake of its $65 billion acquisition of telephone giant USWEST, never sold a single  share of stock in Qwest despite the much ballyhooed promotion of the national broadband network.

By comparison his boss, Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio, the subject of a Forbes cover story a decade ago, sold shares of Qwest aggressively  after  the merger went through, racking up  revenues of about $100 million and private gains of some $52 million.  Nacchio had personal knowledge the company’s earnings forecasts were not accurate.. For those ill-gotten gains,  Nacchio was  convicted on 19 counts of insider selling and sentenced  to 70 months in prison and fined $19 million.

For the past 8  years Mohebbi has been fighting allegations by the SEC in a civil action accusing him of concealing  information about improper  accounting measures and transactions, or  aiding and abetting “improper  disclosures by others of the  make up of  Qwest’s revenue.”

A true nightmare that was finally resolved on March 31, 2011– that is less than a week ago-  by a federal judge in Denver who  finally ruled that the “alleged overstatements of revenue were ‘not due to any misconduct on Mr. Mohebbi’s part.”

This reprieve  was due to the lawyering of  my friend Paul Grand, a partner of the white-collar firm, Morvillo, Abramowitz , Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer,  who says it was the most substantial and satisfying victory of his long legal career.

About Mohebbi, Grand says; ” He is the only executive  in America–who seeing everyone else  selling shares of their company, never sold a single share.  Qwest, which sold  between $38 and $41 a share when jailbird Nacchio was dumping,  now trades at $7 a share and runs an operating loss.

Grand believes that prosecutorial zeal  has held up an innocent man’s  life and career for 8 years. My client knew it was an improper thing to do to sell stock in the wake of a  highly promoted broadband merger when the proof  of  its potential was  very much up in the air and his personal coda  of fair play and ethics would not allow him to take advantage of information not available to the public, Grand explained to me last week.  He is very  proud of handing Mohebbi  back his personal freedom.