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CSFB's Quattrone May Be Barred From Securities Industry

Mar 3, 2003 | Wall Street Journal

Securities regulators are considering barring technology-banking star Frank Quattrone from the brokerage business after he failed to appear at a regulatory meeting to give testimony to officials investigating his activities during the stock-market bubble, people close to the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Quattrone was scheduled to be interviewed last week by officials from the National Association of Securities Dealers as part of its probe into whether he urged fellow Credit Suisse First Boston technology-banking employees to destroy documents when he became aware that the firm was the subject of several investigations, these people say. But the people say Mr. Quattrone chose not to appear on the advice of his lawyers, prompting the NASD to consider whether it should bar him from the securities business.

CSFB, a unit of the Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group , recently placed Mr. Quattrone on paid administrative leave after it turned over e-mails to regulators indicating that Mr. Quattrone urged employees to discard certain documents just days after he was told that CSFB was the subject of criminal and civil inquiries. Mr. Quattrone, once one of the most powerful technology bankers on Wall Street, now faces criminal obstruction of justice probes by both the New York attorney general and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office.

NASD rules state that if an individual doesn't respond to a request to provide testimony "in any manner a bar should be standard." However, the NASD has some leeway to merely suspend a securities professional "where mitigation exists."

A spokeswoman for the NASD declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for CSFB. Mr. Quattrone has said in the past that he has done nothing wrong. Sunday, a spokesman for Mr. Quattrone said: "Any lawyer would pass on testifying on a civil proceeding when there are other investigations ongoing that could put their client in greater jeopardy. This is a simple matter of legal strategy and has nothing to do with the merits of the case."

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