Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Qwest executive Weisberg pleads to one count of wire fraud for taking stock in Qwest vendors without company The US Attorney accused Weisberg of improperly earning $2.9 million for himself, family members and friends from 1999 to 2001 by demanding that vendors offer them shares in other companies in return for doing business with Qwest, the telephone provider for 14 mostly Western states. In a plea agreement filed with a federal judge, Weisberg admitted to buying stock in a California company in March 2000 and failing to report the deal to Qwest. He sold the stock in 2001 at a loss of about $529,000, the document said. The Weisberg deal appears as asideshow to the governments main target former executive Nacchio, whom the government accuse of llegally selling off $101 million in stock over five months in 2001 after learning the company might not meet its financial goals and keeping that information from stockholders. Qwest had to restate over $2billion of earnings for 2001, 2000 and paid $400million to shareholders and $250million totheSEC. Weisberg expects minimal jail time and only a fine instead of disgorging his millions in profits.

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