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Grand Jury Indicts Quattrone


Former investment banker Frank Quattrone, one of the most successful financial deal-makers of the technology boom, was indicted Monday on charges of criminal obstruction of justice by a federal grand jury in New York.

The indictment formalizes a legal complaint filed April 23 against Silicon Valley's onetime star banker, who headed the technology investment banking unit of Credit Suisse First Boston from a Palo Alto office. Quattrone, who surrendered earlier to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was released, has been charged with trying to obstruct investigations of CSFB's stock offerings undertaken by federal officials and the Securities and Exchange Commission in late 2000.

U.S. Attorney James Comey brought the charges against Quattrone, who resigned from Credit Suisse in early March. Comey alleged Quattrone impeded the two investigations by sending out a two-line e-mail in December 2000 helping to encourage his colleagues to "clean up" files prosecutors say were being sought in the probes.

Quattrone denies trying to obstruct justice. In a statement Monday, his lawyer John Keker said "Frank Quattrone is innocent. He is charged with a crime that he did not commit."

Quattrone had been slated to return to court today, but that has been delayed until a judge is assigned for arraignment.

Quattrone's case was originally assigned to U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, though she later recused herself without immediately providing a reason, a spokesman for Comey said. A phone call to Judge Buchwald was not returned.

A new judge has yet to be named.

Quattrone's lawyer has said previously that he was not trying to destroy evidence, and that his e-mail endorsing the advice to clean up files was a routine procedure.

Keker has repeatedly said Quattrone will request "a speedy trial." A spokesman for Quattrone said his lawyers are not in settlement talks with the U.S. Attorney.

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