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Jury Continues Deliberations in Quattrone Case

October 16, 2003|From Bloomberg News

A jury weighing the fate of former Silicon Valley star investment banker Frank Quattrone ended its first day of deliberations Wednesday in Manhattan federal court without reaching a verdict.

The panel was dismissed about 5 p.m. EDT after one juror was notified her mother had suffered a heart attack. The woman will remain on the jury for now, though U.S. District Judge Richard Owen dismissed the alternates. Under court rules, a judge can order a panel of 11 jurors to deliberate without the consent of lawyers on either side. If the number of jurors falls below 11, the defense and prosecution both must agree to continued deliberations.

Quattrone is charged with two counts of obstructing justice and one count of witness tampering. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, though defense lawyers say he would probably get no more than two years under federal sentencing guidelines.

Jurors began deliberating at about 3:30 p.m. New York time, after a prosecutor and defense lawyer concluded summations and Owen instructed the jury on legal principles such as "reasonable doubt" and "circumstantial evidence."

"What is reasonable doubt?" Owen said. "The words practically define themselves. It is a doubt founded upon reason. Reasonable doubt is not sympathy for the defendant."

The key issue is intent -- whether Quattrone "willfully and knowingly" tried to "influence, obstruct and impede" U.S. investigations of how his firm, Credit Suisse First Boston, allocated IPO shares, according to the indictment. Quattrone admits forwarding a colleague's e-mail urging bankers to follow CSFB's document retention policy, which requires discarding some records. Quattrone says all he did was endorse a fellow banker's advice to obey firm rules. Prosecutors say it was a mandate to destroy documents.

Wednesday afternoon, the jury sent out a note asking the judge whether it must be convinced Quattrone knew of investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department in order to convict him of all three counts, and to clarify the concepts of negligence and criminal intent.

The panel also asked to see the grand jury subpoenas, as well as key e-mails in the case.

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