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Apr 24, 2003 | New York Post

Federal prosecutors and class-action litigators are eyeing Frank Quattrone's $500 million in assets and trying to figure out how best to pry the loot away from him now that he's facing criminal charges.

As the single most important Wall Street executive in the tech boom, Quattrone banked as much as half a billion dollars by bringing countless IPOs to market, say sources.

The NASD said it will seek to recoup some of the $200 million it says Quattrone earned between 1998 and 2001, and the U.S. Attorney's Office is seeking $250,000 for each of three obstruction of justice charges.

With securities lawyers and other regulators also lining up for the assets, the former Credit Suisse First Boston tech banker could lose "a good portion" of his fortune in the coming months and years, said one class-action litigator.

"The SEC also may very well sue him and seek monetary restitution for harm caused to investors," agreed John Coffee, a securities law professor at Columbia University. "And once civil charges are filed [against Quattrone], class-action litigators and other state and federal regulators will be after him for a long time."

Prosecutors could also try to freeze Quattrone's assets if he is eventually charged with financial fraud by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as the federal regulatory body did to former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy last month.

New York Attorney General and SEC spokespersons declined to comment.

Quattrone's lawyer, John Keker, didn't return calls for comment.

CSFB has said it will continue to defend Quattrone, but if wrongdoing is found the bank may demand that Quattrone pay his own legal fees.

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