FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2005
FORMER QWEST CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER CHARGED WITH INSIDER TRADING
DENVER - The United States Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced that ROBIN SZELIGA , age 44, of Littleton, Colorado, was charged by way of Criminal Information today with one count of insider trading. Immediately after the Information was filed the defense filed a notice of disposition. The court has scheduled a change of plea hearing on July 14, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. before U.S. District Court Judge Walker D. Miller.
According to the facts alleged in the Information, SZELIGA was Qwest's Chief Financial Officer (CFO). On April 30, 2001, while in possession of material, non-public information regarding Qwest's true operating performance and financial condition, SZELIGA allegedly sold 10,000 shares of Qwest stock at $41 per share, obtaining gross proceeds of approximately $410,000.
During 2001 and at other relevant times, the defendant's duties and responsibilities while working at Qwest included reviewing non-public financial results from each business unit, including their actual and projected performance, as well as participating in conference calls with analysts, participating in providing guidance to the investing public regarding Qwest's anticipated performance, and participating in presenting Qwest's overall perspective on its business. Part of the non-public information included the quality, nature, source and growth of Qwest's revenue, which information the defendant knew was important to the investing public.
The defendant allegedly knew that the various Qwest business units were not going to meet revenue targets and expectations for the first and second quarters of 2001 as portrayed to the investing public. The defendant and others further knew that Qwest was ultimately only able to meet its announced 2001 first and second quarter earnings expectations through the significant use of non-recurring revenue sources, which were used as publicly undisclosed "gap-fillers" to meet revenue targets. The Information alleges that SZELIGA sold Qwest stock knowing the true, complete and accurate information regarding the company's financial condition.
"This Information and plea, if accepted, represents another milestone in our efforts to achieve a just result for Qwest and its shareholders," said Bill Leone, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Colorado. "We continue to sift through the mountains of evidence uncovered during the investigation, and our charging decisions will be based on the law and the facts."
"As we continue our review of the evidence in this difficult and complex case we will continue to work diligently with the United States Attorney's Office and other agencies," said Denver FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge James Casey.
US Postal Inspector in Charge, Kathleen E. Roberts said "The US Postal Inspection Service remains committed to investigating corporate crime, protecting investors' interests and holding corporate officials accountable for their actions."
Every defendant accused of committing a federal crime has the right to be indicted by a federal grand jury. An Information is a criminal filing where the defendant waives their right to indictment.
The QWEST investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Acting United States Attorney Bill Leone and Department of Justice Fraud Section Trial Attorney Michael Koenig.
If convicted, SZELIGA faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and/or up to a $1,000,000 fine. The actual sentence will be determined by a U.S. District Court Judge in Denver.
These charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.