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Jury Ponders: Who was the real Frank?

Oct
16
2003

Editor’s Note:This post originally appeared as a news story in The New York Post.

Frank Quattrone wasn’t a mind reader or an attorney, but an honest man who made a simple mistake and is now suffering through a nightmarish legal drama.

Or else he’s a calculating financier who flouted the law, encouraged his employees to destroy documents and tried to cover up his illegal deeds by lying.

That, in essence, is the decision that the six men and six women who began deliberating Quattrone’s fate yesterday will make as they decide former star tech banker Quattrone’s guilt or innocence.

Quattrone, formerly head of Credit Suisse First Boston’s tech group, is charged with two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of witness tampering in relation to an e-mail he sent to his employees entitled “time to clean up those files.”

The jury broke for the evening at 5:30 yesterday after about 90 minutes of deliberations. They asked to see a number of the e-mails that had been displayed during the trial, and sought clear instructions.

“Clarify judge’s charge,” read the handwritten note sent out by the jury. “Is it necessary that FQ knew of investigations (GJ and SEC) to be guilty of counts one & two. Count three. Clarify negligence vs. criminal intent.”

Quattrone attorney John Keker in his closing remarks yesterday morning made a bid for sympathy for his client.

“It’s a nightmare to face clever and agile prosecutors who can keep you on the stand asking you convoluted questions you have to answer “yes” or “no” to “you try it sometime,” Keker told the jury.

“It’s also a nightmare to somehow get the facts wrong,” Keker said, talking about Quattrone’s conversation with Credit Suisse First Boston General Counsel Gary Lynch.

In January, as The Post was first reporting the existence of the “clean up” e-mail, Lynch questioned Quattrone about when he knew about the various investigations of the bank.

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