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Former Tech Investment Banker Indicted

May 13, 2003 | AP

Former technology banker Frank Quattrone, indicted on charges he told employees to destroy documents that federal investigators wanted to see, is innocent, his lawyer said.

Quattrone, 47, who was highly influential at Credit Suisse First Boston during the dot-com boom, is accused of approving a December 2000 e-mail that urged CSFB workers to "catch up on file cleaning" for the holidays.

"He is charged with a crime that he did not commit," attorney John W. Keker said.

A federal grand jury and the Securities and Exchange Commission were looking into how CSFB allocated shares of initial public stock offerings. The investigation was closed without charges in 2001.

The indictment, handed up in Manhattan federal court, charges Quattrone with obstructing the grand jury and SEC investigations and witness tampering. The charges carry penalties of up to 25 years in prison.

Keker, the Quattrone lawyer, said in a statement that he was confident the jury verdict would establish his client's innocence and "reaffirm his honesty and integrity."

On April 23, when prosecutors filed a criminal complaint making the same charges against Quattrone, Keker told reporters the government's evidence was "pretty thin gruel."

At CSFB, Quattrone presided over IPOs for companies including and Netscape Communications Corp. He earned nearly $100 million a year in the late 1990s.

But when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000 and technology stock prices began to tumble, investigators started looking into how IPO shares had been doled out. Quattrone resigned from CSFB earlier this year.

The indictment quotes a Dec. 5, 2000, e-mail from Quattrone to hundreds of workers in CSFB's technology group: "We strongly suggest that before you leave for the holidays, you should catch up on file cleaning."

According to the indictment, another CSFB executive had suggested the language the day before, adding in a note to Quattrone: "Today, it's administrative housekeeping. Tomorrow, it could be improper destruction of evidence."

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