U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 22271 / February 28, 2012
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Robert S. Woodruff, et al, Civ. No. 05-cv-480-MSK-CBS (D. Colorado).
COURT ENTERS FINAL JUDGMENT AGAINST FORMER CFO OF QWEST COMMUNICATIONS INT’L ROBERT S. WOODRUFF
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that the United States District Court for the District of Colorado entered a Final Judgment dated February 3, 2012, in a civil action against Robert S. Woodruff, the former chief financial officer of Qwest Communications International Inc., a Denver-based telecommunications company. Woodruff, without admitting or denying the Commission’s allegations, consented to the entry of a Final Judgment that enjoins him from violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Sections 10(b) and 13(b)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and Rules 10b-5 and 13b2-1 thereunder, and from aiding and abetting violations of Sections 13(a) and 13(b)(2) of the Exchange Act and Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, 13a-11, and 13a-13 thereunder; finds that he is liable for disgorgement of $1,731,048, plus prejudgment interest of $640,427, imposes a civil penalty of $300,000; and prohibits him from acting as an officer or director of a public company for a period of five years. It is anticipated that the Commission will ask the Court to add the disgorgement, interest and penalty to a Fair Fund which was established in SEC v. Qwest Communications, Inc., Civ No. 04-cv-1267 (D. Colorado). The Commission thus far has distributed approximately $275 million from the Fair Fund to harmed investors
According to the SEC’s complaint, from at least April 1, 1999 through March, 2001, Woodruff and others at Qwest engaged in a large-scale financial fraud that hid from the investing public the true source and nature of the company’s revenue and earnings growth. The complaint alleged that, although Qwest publicly touted its purported growth in services contracts which would provide a continuing revenue stream, in fact, the company fraudulently and repeatedly relied on revenue recognition from one-time sales of assets known as “IRUs” and certain equipment without making required disclosures. The complaint also alleged that Woodruff and others fraudulently and materially misrepresented Qwest’s performance and growth to the investing public. The complaint further alleged that Woodruff sold Qwest stock in violation of the insider trading prohibition of the securities laws.