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Ex-Qwest Executive Hall Pleads Guilty

Former Qwest Communications International executive Thomas Hall pleaded guilty Thursday to a single misdemeanor count of falsifying documents, ending the first criminal case stemming from a federal investigation of the company.

In exchange, prosecutors dropped three counts of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud. Hall, who also agreed to cooperate with investigators who are still looking into Qwest, faces up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

Sentencing was scheduled for Jan. 14.

Prosecutors are not seeking restitution but U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn could require it.

"These investigations are a marathon, not a sprint, and I think we're making good progress," Assistant U.S. Attorney William Leone said after the hearing. "Given the magnitude of shareholder losses, we need to be thorough, fair and deliberate."

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