SZELIGA
Jack Dempsey  /  AP file
Former Qwest Communications chief financial officer Robin Szeliga leaves federal court in Denver last March. Szeliga is accused of insider trading for allegedly earning $410,000 on a stock sale based on non-public information.
updated 6/3/2005 1:16:03 PM ET 2005-06-03T17:16:03

A former Qwest Communications International Inc. chief financial officer has reached an agreement with federal regulators to settle civil fraud charges arising from a scandal that forced the telephone company to erase billions of dollars in revenue.

In a federal court brief filed late Thursday, Robin Szeliga asked for a 60-day extension to finalize a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Terms were not disclosed.

Szeliga, 44, also reached a tentative plea agreement this week on a criminal count of insider trading. Prosecutors alleged she improperly sold 10,000 shares of Qwest stock in 2001, earning a net profit of $125,000.

Szeliga is the highest-ranking former executive from Qwest Communications International Inc. to be charged in the three-year criminal investigation of the Denver-based telecommunications company that serves 14 Midwestern and Western states.

Szeliga is accused of selling Qwest stock at $41 a share in April 2001 based on nonpublic information. Prosecutors said she knew some business units would fail to meet revenue targets in the first two quarters that year and that the company improperly used nonrecurring revenue to meet those goals.

Szeliga, former CEO Joseph Nacchio and five other former executives were accused in the civil suit of orchestrating a massive financial fraud. The SEC is seeking a court order requiring all seven to repay an amount to be determined at trial and civil penalties.

The SEC has said the fraud at Qwest occurred between April 1999 and March 2002, allowing it to improperly report approximately $3 billion in revenue that helped clear the way for its 2000 acquisition of U S West. The revenue was later restated.

Qwest agreed last year to pay $250 million to settle SEC charges of fraud in a deal that did not cover individual officers.

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