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Qwest Probe Returns to Ex-CEO

Congressional investigators plan to re-interview Joseph Nacchio to clear up inconsistencies about Philip Anschutz's role.

October 29, 2002|Katherine Reynolds Lewis | Bloomberg News

Qwest Communications International Inc. former Chief Executive Joseph Nacchio will be asked again by congressional investigators about company founder Philip Anschutz's role in the phone carrier's operations.

Anschutz was interviewed for more than three hours Friday by five staff members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating whether the biggest local-phone company in 14 Western states misled investors by inflating sales.

Anschutz and Nacchio gave different versions of Anschutz's role, committee spokesman Ken Johnson said.

"We're still troubled by a lot of things," said Johnson, who declined to elaborate.

Federal investigators are probing whether Denver-based Qwest and rival Global Crossing Ltd. swapped network space and used the transactions to boost revenue improperly.

Qwest spokesman Tyler Gronbach and Anschutz spokesman Jim Monaghan didn't return calls seeking comment. Nacchio's lawyer said he would consider the committee's request for an interview when and if it's received.

Nacchio testified before the panel's investigations subcommittee this month.

Meanwhile, Qwest said Monday that it plans to reverse $531 million in revenue that was improperly recognized and take nearly $11 billion in charges for the reduced value of its telephone and fiber-optic networks in its review of past accounting practices. The company also said it might have to write down $30 billion in goodwill from impaired assets related to past acquisitions.

The accounting changes, which were announced after the markets closed, were made after Qwest executives consulted with their new auditors at KPMG. Qwest shares rose 20 cents to $3.46 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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