The Association of U S West Retirees



Deal with ex-Qwest CFO falls through
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Thursday, January 19, 2006

Former Qwest chief financial officer Robin Szeliga who already has pleaded guilty to a criminal count of insider trading has pulled out of a tentative civil-fraud settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  "We do not have a settlement," her attorney Mark Drooks informed a federal magistrate during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Denver today.  Drooks didn't elaborate on why the settlement had collapsed, but indicated Szeliga now might fight the charges.

Last summer, Szeliga pleaded guilty to one count of insider trading, and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in their investigation of other former Qwest executives.  At the time, her attorneys also said she had reached a preliminary settlement with the SEC over civil-fraud charges, but no terms were disclosed.

A civil settlement often involves returning "ill-gotten" gains, paying a fine, and being barred from serving as an officer of a publicly-held company for a period of time.

SEC trial attorney Robert Fusfeld declined to comment after the hearing.

Szeliga is seen as a key witness in the government's criminal case against former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio, who faces 42 counts of insider trading.  Nacchio has pleaded not guilty.,2777,DRMN_23910_4399822,00.html