A former Qwest Communications International Inc. chief financial officer pleaded guilty Thursday to a single count of insider trading, becoming the highest-ranking officer to admit to wrongdoing in a scandal that forced the telephone company to erase billions of dollars in revenue.

Robin Szeliga, 44, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine, though sentencing guidelines recommend a term of 15 to 21 months. U.S. District Judge Walker D. Miller delayed formal acceptance of the plea until a Nov. 4 hearing.