Thomas Hall, a former Qwest senior vice president of sales, pleaded guilty last September for his role in a scheme to inflate revenue by $34 million in connection with an Internet equipment sale to Arizona schools in 2001. He faces possible prison time and a large fine.

Phyllis Kielblock, Exec. Secr.
952-937-2056
E-mail - Pkielblock@aol.com
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By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Federal prosecutors are expected to seek a harsh penalty today at the sentencing of former Qwest executive Thomas Hall, who pleaded guilty last September to a single misdemeanor of falsifying documents.

In a 15-page statement filed in Denver federal court Friday, acting U.S.
Attorney in Colorado William Leone cited aggravating and mitigating factors in determining Hall's sentence. Leone argued as "untenable" Hall's contention that there was no loss resulting from his offense, charging Hall with supervising criminal activity that cost the Denver telco at least $4.9 million.

Hall, a former senior vice president of sales, pleaded guilty last September for his role in a scheme to inflate revenue by $34 million in connection with an Internet equipment sale to Arizona schools in 2001.

U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn will determine the sentence after weighing the evidence. Hall faces possible prison time and a large fine.

Jeffrey Springer, Hall's attorney, declined to comment about the government statement, saying he would give remarks today in court.

Jeff Dorschner, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado, said the government would let the court document speak for itself.

Hall admitted to signing a letter that set out a bogus equipment-payment schedule, a letter used to book revenue before equipment was installed or paid for.

In its statement, the government charged Hall with knowingly signing misleading letters. Prosecutors argued that Hall's actions resulted in Qwest purchasing equipment it had no use for.

Qwest lost more than $4.9 million when it tried to return the equipment and get a refund from Cisco Systems.

Prosecutors alleged the scheme involved extensive planning.

"The stipulated facts amply demonstrate that the defendant directed the activities of others - most notably 'his team' - in the criminal activity."

Outsiders also were involved, according to prosecutors.

Separately, Grant Graham, a former Qwest senior vice president of finance, agreed to plead guilty to a felony, for which he received a year's probation in exchange for his cooperation with prosecutors.