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You Think You’ve Got Mail


The email overload continues as Frank Quattrone’s jury is told that he had more than 4,000 emails in his inbox. They’re probably in shock.
Chances are they don’t know what we know which is that anyone with a Blackberry – a friend of mine calls it his crackberry because he can’t stop sending messages on it – doesn’t take messages off the Microsoft system. So yeah, Frank has 4,000 messages, 2,000 of which his desktop says are unread. Hmmm. Maybe he just didn’t clean the thing out.
It feels kind of cheesy to be focusing on the tech but it is the biggest difference between these two worlds. Yesterday a juror was asked about his MP3 player by the U.S. Marshals at the courthouse door. He struggled a bit. “It plays music,” he finally said. A fine, direct explanation. But his pause was telling.
In the meantime, Judge Richard Owen is giving Quattrone’s attorney John Keker a very hard time. The Journal did the uptight version of this. We at The Post prefer the direct approach. You Silicon Valley types can read both stories while imagining the judge’s ruling as it really was: Accompanied by long-time Quattrone colleague George Boutros shaking his head and making disgusted faces. Clearly he’s been briefed on the ins and outs of the case. Frank has his game face and except for a little twitch under his right eye, he’s keeping it up. Boutros doesn’t have to bother with those niceties – as if – since he’s managed to get out of this whole mess with his beautifully tanned skin intact.
Boutros showed up yesterday afternoon, slipping into the courtroom after lunch and, during the break, giving Quattrone a big, heartfelt back-thumping hug. Eventually, he sat with a bunch of young men who, well, they looked like bankers with their ties, Egyptian cotton shirts and their little dopey looking gym bags. It’s a contingent from CSFB and boy are they giving me dirty looks. We’ll see a sweater before this is all over. A sweater and that other long-time Quattrone pal, Bill Brady.
There was another funny moment in the trail but it was a very inside joke, even by my standards. Rob Khazami, the guy who used to run the financial fraud division in the U.S. Attorney’s office, testified about the grand jury that Quattrone is accused of blocking. He’s not a US Attorney anymore, he’s got a cush corporate gig and he dresses almost as well as Boutros does. Where’s he working? At Deutsch Bank. That’s the bank Quattrone, Brady and Boutros stormed out of in July, 1998, after denying for months that they were leaving. Trust us – remember that? – they were there to stay.
Wednesday was given over to the gears and pulleys of the case: email back-ups and what the SEC knew. Today, Thursday, we should get out from under all this email and get some witnesses to tell us what they remember.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 9:12 AM | Permalink

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