US Attorney notifies Qwest of criminal investigation

The United States Attorney's office in Denver Tuesday notified Qwest Communications International Inc. that it has begun a criminal investigation into the company.

The U.S. Attorney did not disclose the subject of the investigation to Qwest, though Qwest pledged to cooperate with the probe, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the Denver company.

No one at Qwest or the U.S. Attorney's office was immediately available for comment.

News of an investigation by both the U.S. Attorney in Colorado and by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation was first reported in the Wall Street Journal in early July. At the time of the report, Qwest denied any knowledge of such investigations. The company is already being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over its accounting practices, including how it recognized revenue and sales of optical capacity and other matters relating to the sale of equipment to customers who had purchased other services from Qwest. That investigation began in April. KPNQwest NV, the company's European joint venture with Koninklijke KPN NV, filed for bankruptcy in late May.

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