By News Wire Reports
Rocky Moutain News
April 29, 2005
A federal judge finalized a settlement Thursday between the Securities and Exchange Commission and a former Qwest Communications executive who was named in a civil fraud lawsuit.
Without admitting wrongdoing, William Eveleth, former senior vice president of finance, agreed to pay about $111,000 and forgo serving as a director or officer of any public company for five years.
U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch said he called Eveleth to the Denver courtroom from Gulf Breeze, Fla. - where Eveleth moved in 2003 and set up a consulting business after resigning from Qwest - to make sure he understood the terms of the deal and the potentially harsh consequences of violating them.
"I don't want anybody to stick his neck out until he understands," Matsch said.
"From my perspective, I am agreeing to obey the law and securities rules, and I've never had a problem with that," Eveleth responded.
Violations could result in civil or criminal contempt charges, Matsch said.
Eveleth was one of eight Qwest defendants named in an SEC lawsuit filed in February 2003 alleging accounting fraud.
The lawsuit alleged that he was involved in a September 2000 deal with Genuity Inc. that added $100 million in revenue and $80 million in profits to Qwest's financial results.
The SEC announced in March that it had settled complaints with Eveleth and four other former Qwest executives.
At the same time, the agency said it was filing suit against former Qwest Chairman and CEO Joe Nacchio and six other former executives for alleged fraud.
Attorneys for the seven have denied their clients did anything wrong.