August 18, 2006

Quattrone reached deal to avoid trial: NY Times

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Frank Quattrone, the former Silicon
Valley star technology banker facing a possible third trial for
obstructing justice, reached a deal with prosecutors in which
he could avoid another trial and resume a career in finance,
The New York Times reported on Saturday.

Citing people briefed on the negotiations, the Times said
Quattrone would enter into a deferred-prosecution agreement
that would impose no penalty if he does not violate any laws in
the next several years.

The Times' sources spoke on the condition of anonymity
because the judge had not yet formally approved the settlement,
the newspaper said.

The agreement was expected to be presented for approval
before Judge George Daniels of Federal District Court in
Manhattan at a hearing on Tuesday, the Times said. A U.S.
attorney's office spokeswoman declined to comment to the
newspaper, as did a spokesman for Quattrone.

The newspaper said deferred-prosecution agreements often
include an admission of wrongdoing, but there was no such
statement by Quattrone in the settlement.

There had been widespread speculation in Silicon Valley
that Quattrone would start a boutique advisory and private
equity firm focused on technology companies, the Times said.

Quattrone, 50, has maintained his innocence since
prosecutors accused the former Credit Suisse Group Inc. banker
of obstruction when he forwarded an e-mail to colleagues in
December 2000 suggesting it was "time to clean up those files."

Prosecutors accused Quattrone of trying to block probes
into how his bank allocated shares of hot initial public

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals on March 20
overturned Quattrone's May 2004 conviction on two counts of
obstruction and one count of witness tampering, citing faulty
jury instructions by trial judge Richard Owen.

Another jury deadlocked in 2003 on the same charges.
Following the reversal, talks began on possibly avoiding a
third trial, court records show.

Four days after the reversal, the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission threw out a lifetime securities industry
ban against Quattrone. Two months later, the NASD, which also
regulates the securities industry, dropped its own charges.

A new trial would involve a new judge and a new lead
prosecutor, William Johnson, deputy chief of the Securities and
Commodities Fraud Task Force. He replaced David Anders, who is
now in private practice.

Quattrone was a star banker at Morgan Stanley, helping take
such companies as Cisco Systems Inc. public. He took home $120
million in compensation one year.