Weisberg fraud trial delayed
By Sandy Shore, Associated Press
Monday, March 28, 2005
A federal judge today granted a delay of nearly nine months in the fraud and money laundering trial of a former senior vice president at Qwest Communications International Inc.
The delay was sought by attorneys for Marc Weisberg who cited the complexity of the case. Prosecutors had no objections.
The trial, initially set April 25, was pushed to Jan. 2 before U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn.
Weisberg, 47, has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. Another count seeks forfeiture of $2.9 million he is accused of taking as he cashed in on investment opportunities at the expense of Qwest and its shareholders.
Weisberg is the highest-ranking former Qwest executive to face criminal charges since the government began investigating the telecommunications giant in 2002. Other former executives, including one-time CEO Joseph Nacchio, face civil counts filed this month by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Thomas Hall pleaded guilty in September to falsifying documents and was sentenced to probation. Grant Graham has pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to wire fraud and is expected to receive probation. John Walker and Bryan Treadway were acquitted in April of charges including fraud and conspiracy.
Weisberg is free on a $1 million unsecured bond. Each wire fraud count carries a sentence of up to five years and a fine up to $250,000. The money laundering counts each carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.