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Former Qwest Executive Sentenced In Revenue-Inflation Scheme

DENVER (AP) -- A federal judge sentenced a former Qwest Communications executive to probation and a $5,000 fine Tuesday and said no one charged in the government's highly touted investigation of fraud at the telecommunications giant will go to prison.

Thomas Hall, who pleaded guilty last year to a single misdemeanor count of falsifying documents, was the first person sentenced in a case then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced as an example of the government's intolerance of white-collar crime. Two years ago, a grand jury indicted four executives on 12 felony counts each.

Two of the men, Bryan Treadway and John Walker, were acquitted last year and a jury deadlocked on charges against Hall. Grant Graham was acquitted of three counts and later pleaded guilty to a felony charge of being an accessory after the fact to wire fraud. He is likely to receive a sentence identical to Hall's later this year.

``I accept full responsibility for my actions,'' Hall said, with his wife and other family in court. ``I did not mean to harm anybody, but people were harmed.''

U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn said it would be unfair to sentence Hall to prison for a misdemeanor and while ordering probation for Graham on a felony.

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