Quattrone judge declares mistrial

Quattrone was charged last April with obstructing justice Keystone Archive

A United States judge has declared a mistrial in the obstruction of justice trial of Frank Quattrone, a former Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) banker.

This content was published on October 24, 2003 - 20:44

US District Judge Richard Owen said jurors had failed to agree on any of the charges against the former financial wizard.

The “consensus is that we will not be able to reach a unanimous vote on any of the three counts [two counts of obstruction and one count of witness tampering],” the jurors said in a note given to Owen, according to court transcripts.

The mistrial prepares the way for a possible second trial and Judge Owen said he would hear a status report on the government’s plans for proceeding at a November 5 hearing.

Clean up

Quattrone was accused of telling his staff to destroy documents amid a regulatory investigation into the handling of 1990s stock offerings.

The case hinges on a single email, drafted by someone else, which Quattrone forwarded to his entire department advising staff to “clean up those files”.

The message was sent just days after Quattrone had been told that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) was investigating the bank’s IPO practices.

The bank was accused of inflating commissions from about 100 hedge funds in exchange for taking charge of new stock offerings.

Even though the bank never admitted any wrongdoing, it paid $100 million in January 2002 to settle the case.

Earlier this year CSFB paid a $200 million fine to the SEC following charges that it issued biased stock research.

Quattrone resigned under pressure from CSFB, a division of the Credit Suisse Group.

swissinfo with agencies

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