Ex-exec of wireless division to pay fine
By Jeff Smith, Rocky Mountain News

Friday, April 8, 2005

A former top executive for Qwest's wireless division has agreed to pay a $75,000 fine to settle civil charges that he concealed $112 million in bogus sales between January 2000 and September 2002.

Michael Felicissimo, former Qwest Wireless finance chief, also agreed to return $7,596.98 of ill-gotten gains, including interest, and to be barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for five years.

The settlement was filed late last week by the Securities and Exchange Commission in Denver federal court.

Felicissimo, whose most recent address was shown as Lone Tree, couldn't be reached Thursday at his listed home phone.  His attorney, Jeffrey Springer, also couldn't be reached.

The SEC filed civil charges against Felicissimo, 48, last summer, accusing him of ordering his subordinates to hide documents revealing that the company had inflated revenue.

The SEC suit claimed Felicissimo ordered an accountant to "bury" one internal report concerning the improper financial statements and lied to other high-level finance executives.

Felicissimo was fired in September 2002 after Qwest discovered the irregularities.

The complaint didn't detail exactly who was responsible for the accounting errors.

The SEC recently filed civil charges against seven former Qwest executives, including former CEO Joe Nacchio, alleging a massive $3 billion financial fraud at the Denver telco between 1999 and 2002.