Federal prosecutors yesterday accused a former Qwest executive of illegally collecting $2. 9 million by secretly cashing in on investment...

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DENVER — Federal prosecutors yesterday accused a former Qwest executive of illegally collecting $2.9 million by secretly cashing in on investment opportunities at the expense of the company and its shareholders.

Marc B. Weisberg, a former senior vice president, was charged with eight counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering.

If he is convicted, prosecutors want Weisberg to forfeit the $2.9 million in alleged gains, including cash and a villa in the Cayman Islands.

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Weisberg, 47, surrendered to the FBI and was escorted to court in handcuffs for an initial appearance. He was released on a $1 million unsecured bond, surrendered his passport and agreed not to leave the United States.

He left court without comment but separately issued a statement through his attorneys saying, “I look forward to clearing my good name when the facts of this case come out in court.”

Federal prosecutors declined comment.

Weisberg is at least the fifth former Qwest executive to face federal charges as a result of a Justice Department investigation.

Weisberg was responsible for managing corporate investments and negotiating equity agreements for Qwest and its shareholders.

Weisberg is accused of using his position to obtain such investment opportunities from several vendors or potential vendors for himself, his parents, father-in-law, children, his wife’s personal trainer, a brother-in-law and a secretary, among others.

The Denver-based Qwest has been faced with legal challenges since 2002 when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began an inquiry into accounting irregularities.

Weisberg earlier was named in a lawsuit filed by Qwest investors accusing former company executives of misleading investors and fraudulent accounting, but a federal judge dismissed him as a defendant in January 2004.