Former Qwest chief accused by SEC

The former chief executive and six former officials at US telecoms giant Qwest Communications have been accused of deceiving investors.

Former CEO Joseph Nacchio, who denies any wrongdoing, is among those named in the civil case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It said Qwest inflated its revenue by $3bn (£1.56bn) between 1999 and 2002.

The SEC said “numerous false and misleading statements” were made in reports and other public statements.

“The disclosure fraud at Qwest was orchestrated at the highest level of the company to deceive investors,” the SEC said.

Qwest Communications itself agreed last year to pay $250m to settle charges stemming from the SEC inquiry, without admitting any liability.

Also named in the SEC’s complaint were former chief financial officers Robert Woodruff and Robin Szeliga; former Chief Operating Officer Afshin Mohebbi; Gregory Casey, a former executive vice president of Qwest’s wholesale business; and James Kozlowski and Frank Noyes, two former finance executives.

Civil charges had previously been filed by the SEC against lower-level executives at the company, which was forced to restate its results for 2000 and 2001.

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