Lawyers seek deal for CFO of Qwest
By Greg Griffin, Staff Writer Denver Post
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Prosecutors want to delay the sentencing of former Qwest chief financial officer Robin Szeliga by four months, saying she "has provided significant information related to the subject of a continuing investigation."

Szeliga pleaded guilty to one count of illegal insider trading in July and agreed to cooperate with investigators, who are building a criminal case against other former Qwest officials.  Former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio is believed to be among those under investigation.

Prosecutors filed a motion in federal court last week to move Szeliga's sentencing from Nov. 4 to March 4.  If Szeliga's help proves "substantial," prosecutors said, her sentence of 15 to 21 months in prison could be reduced.

The government is investigating insider trading and false reporting at Qwest from 2000 to 2002.  Securities regulators have said Nacchio made profits of $176.5 million on stock sales from 1999 to 2002.  Nacchio's attorneys have said there was nothing illegal or improper in his actions at Qwest.

In a separate shareholder lawsuit, a federal judge on Friday dismissed one allegation against Nacchio but allowed other claims to proceed.  The judge said Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP does not have the legal standing to accuse Nacchio of violating a federal law that makes CEOs financially liable for problems in companies' financial reports.

Other claims against Nacchio remain, including civil conspiracy and fraud.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Staff writer Greg Griffin can be reached at 303-820-1241 or ggriffin@denverpost.com.


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