Qwest Faces Criminal Investigation

The bad news just keeps piling on for Qwest Communications International Inc.
-- now there's word that the Baby Bell is facing a federal criminal

The U.S. Attorney's office in Denver notified Qwest Tuesday that it has
launched a criminal investigation of the company. It did not disclose the nature
of the investigation.

Qwest officials said they will cooperate fully.

It isn't the only investigation Qwest is facing these days. In April, the
Securities and Exchange Commission launched a formal investigation into the
company's accounting practices -- specifically whether the regional Bell
operating company overvalued network-capacity sales to make its earnings look

This latest announcement has once again pummeled the telco's stock, which
dropped 78 cents to $1.82 per share before trading was temporarily halted
Wednesday morning. At one point in 2000, the company's stock was trading at $58
per share.

Last month, the company's board forced embattled CEO Joe Nacchio from his
post, replacing him with Richard C. Notebaert, former CEO of Ameritech Corp.
before it was sold to SBC Communications Inc.