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Quattrone Faces Criminal Charges

Apr 23, 2003 | www.cbsmarketwatch.com

Former Credit Suisse First Boston star banker Frank Quattrone surrendered to federal authorities Wednesday morning and will face criminal charges, prosecutors said.

James Comey, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, will unveil the charges at a 1 p.m. ET press conference.

Quattrone, a former star banker for CSFB, allegedly advised his colleagues in late 2000 to destroy documents while regulators were investigating the ways Wall Street investment banks were doling out shares of lucrative initial public offerings.

The former banker is charged in a three-count criminal complaint with obstruction of justice, document destruction and witneess tampering, prosecutors said.

"Frank Quattrone is innocent," his attorney John Keker said in a statement. "He never obstructed justice."

CSFB, the investment bank of Credit Suisse Group, placed Quattrone on administrative leave on Feb. 3 amid questions over whether he authorized the destruction of documents connected with the government's probe of IPOs. He resigned on March 4. See full story.

The charges from federal prosecutors come just days before regulators, led by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, are expected to unveil a final $1.4 billion settlement with 10 investment banks, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, over the ways Wall Street research may have misled investors.

At issue in the Quattrone case are his actions May 2000 to December 2000, when he held dual responsibilities at CSFB for overseeing analysts as well as heading technology banking. The two are normally separate positions.

One of Quattrone's deputies told staff in an e-mail on Dec. 4, 2000, to clean out their files regarding IPOs. The message included a reply from Quattrone endorsing the action.

But two days later, CSFB told staff to disregard the e-mail.

Keker said he would ask for a jury trial as soon as possible.

"Only prosecutors who see the world through dirty windows would take a one-sentence email supporting company policy and try to turn it into a federal criminal case," Quattrone's attorney said. "These accusations are wrong and unfair."


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