TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Qwest Executive's Lawyer Says Others Involved in Fraud

Qwest Executive's Lawyer Says Others Involved in Fraud

Associated Press NewsWire (
Fri, 9 Sep 2005 19:19:58 -0500

The Associated Press

Sep. 8, 2005 - An attorney for a former Qwest executive charged with
fraud and money laundering said in a court filing that others in the
company engaged in the same conduct alleged in the indictment, and
that the company knew about it and authorized it.

Marc B. Weisberg, a former Qwest Communications International
Inc. senior vice president who oversaw mergers, acquisitions and
investments, was indicted in February by a federal grand jury on eight
counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering.

Prosecutors allege Weisberg made $2.9 million for himself, family
members and friends between 1999 and 2001 by demanding that vendors
offer them stock in return for doing business with the company.

The government wants Weisberg to forfeit $2.9 million and other

Weisberg has pleaded innocent.

His lawyer revealed what may be part of the defense strategy in a
document filed in federal court on Sept. 1.

"Weisberg will demonstrate that many individuals at Qwest engaged in
conduct similar or perhaps even identical to his own, that Qwest knew
of the conduct alleged in the indictment, and that Qwest authorized
investments that the government now contends victimized Qwest," the
filing said.

The government began investigating the telecommunications giant for
fraud starting in 2002. Last month, former chief financial officer
Robin Szeliga pleaded guilty to one count of insider trading, becoming
the highest-ranking one-time executive to admit wrongdoing.

She will be sentenced Nov. 4. Her plea agreement recommends a term of
15 months to 21 months. She agreed to pay $125,000 in restitution and
to cooperate with prosecutors.

Thomas Hall pleaded guilty in September to falsifying documents and
was sentenced to probation. Grant Graham has pleaded guilty to being
an accessory after the fact to wire fraud and is expected to receive
probation. John Walker and Bryan Treadway were acquitted in April of
charges including fraud and conspiracy.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

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