NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
The former chairman of Qwest Communications International Inc. is giving up $4.4 million he improperly received through IPOs doled out by Salomon Smith Barney, according to New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
Under the agreement, the former chairman, Phillip F. Anschutz, will give up the money to six law schools and non-profit groups in what Spitzer said is the first time an executive has parted with profits linked to the practice of IPO spinning.
Spinning -- which involves allotting IPO shares to investment banking clients -- is banned under a $1.4 billion settlement inked late last month between 10 banks and securities regulators trying to curb conflicts of interest on Wall Street.
The deal between Anschutz and Spitzer's office comes eight months after Spitzer sued Anschutz and four other telecommunications executives, alleging they improperly profited from hot initial public offerings given in return for investment banking business.
The suit alleged that Salomon Smith Barney, a unit of Citigroup, doled out lucrative IPO shares as an inducement or reward for investment banking business from Qwest and other companies.
Without admitting or denying liability, Anschutz has agreed to contribute an amount to charity that is roughly equal to his IPO profits, Spitzer's office said.
A statement from Anschutz's investment firm, the Anschutz Company, said the firm received IPO shares because it is "a large brokerage client that actively invests in a broad range of publicly traded stocks and bonds."
"We never steered Qwest investment banking business to Salomon Smith Barney nor to any other investment banker in exchange for IPOs," the statement said.
Qwest (Q: Research, Estimates), the Denver-based regional phone company, was founded by Anschutz.
Spitzer, in a release on the attorney general's Web site, said six law schools in New York will divide $1.2 million to fund securities arbitration clinics. In addition, $3.2 million will be divided among non-profit groups for the benefit of New Yorkers.
"Thus, in light of our own active philanthropic activities, we concluded that it is in the best interest of both Qwest and Anschutz Company that we settle this matter through charitable donations," the Anschutz statement said. "We have stated there was no wrongdoing here, and we believe that this settlement very clearly reflects that."