Report: Ex-Qwest Chief May Face Charges

Monday, September 13th 2004, 10:39 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Qwest Communications International Inc.'s former chief executive could soon face civil charges for his alleged role in an accounting scandal at the telecommunications company, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the Securities and Exchange Commission recently sent a Wells notice to Joseph P. Nacchio, Qwest's former CEO, indicating its staff would recommend civil charges be filed.

The report followed a union official's comments Friday that Qwest had tentatively agreed to pay $250 million to settle fraud allegations by federal regulators. A company spokesman declined to discuss the issue.

Nacchio and Qwest have been under scrutiny since the Denver-based company restated financial results for 2001 and 2002 to lower revenue by about $2.5 billion. Nacchio, who stepped down in June 2002, has not been charged with any wrongdoing and has denied any misconduct.

A spokesman for Nacchio said his client had done nothing wrong and that the ``actions which appear to be the focus of the SEC's inquiry were subject to review and approval by numerous people'' including other Qwest executives and the company's board of directors.

An SEC spokesman declined to comment.