Qwest Trial

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The government opened its case against four former Qwest Communications executives Monday in Denver. Prosecutors say the executives intentionally broke accounting rules to book $34 million in revenue and then lied about it.

Assistand US Attorney William Leone said the men devised a scheme that allowed Qwest to improperly book a 2001 computer equipment sale to Arizona school officials. He says they hoped to meet lofty profit targets and help their own performance reviews and bonuses.

Prosecutors say the men conspired to lie about the deal and hid the facts from then-auditor Arthur Andersen as well as regulators.

Former executives Grant Graham, Thomas Hall, John Walker and Bryan Treadway are charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and other charges. They have pleaded innocent, and their attorneys are expected to present opening statements later.