exec Graham sentenced today
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, December 8, 2006
Former Qwest finance executive Grant Graham is scheduled to
be sentenced today, more than two years after he pleaded
guilty to one felony count in connection with an alleged
revenue-inflation scheme. The plea deal called for Graham,
40, to receive a year's probation in exchange for his
cooperation with the government's investigation of former
Qwest executives including former CEO Joe Nacchio.
But Graham is expected to get credit for his cooperation and
for being under pretrial supervision since the plea deal and
could be sentenced to little if any probation. Prosecutors
last month filed a motion to reduce his sentence based on
his "substantial assistance" to the government's criminal
The plea deal also called for Graham to be fined $5,000.
The fine was low because Graham ran out of money and needed
court assistance in 2004 with his legal bills.
Graham initially was to be sentenced within a year of his
plea deal, but prosecutors wanted to ensure his continued
cooperation as they built their criminal cases against other
former Qwest executives, including Nacchio.
Nacchio, who faces 42 counts of insider trading, goes to
trial March 19.
Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in
Colorado, said he couldn't comment on the Graham sentencing.
Dan Sears, Graham's attorney, said Graham looks forward to
the conclusion of the case.
"It has been a lengthy ordeal for him and his family," Sears
Graham's is the last Qwest criminal case to be resolved,
except Nacchio's. While the government has won several plea
deals, no one has served jail time.
Former Qwest Chief Financial Officer Robin Szeliga and
former Qwest business development executive Marc Weisberg
pleaded guilty to one felony count each and were sentenced
to probation. Former Qwest sales executive Thomas Hall
pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and served probation.
Graham and three other former Qwest executives were tried in
early 2004 on charges of conspiracy and fraud in connection
with Qwest's booking of $34 million of revenue from a deal
to provide Internet service to Arizona schools. A jury
deadlocked on eight of 11 charges against Graham and
acquitted him of three charges.
In May 2004, Graham pleaded guilty to accessory after the
fact to wire fraud with reckless indifference.