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Quattrone goes on the offensive

/ Source: The Associated Press

Former technology banker Frank Quattrone went on the offensive Friday at his obstruction of justice trial, saying the prosecution’s key witness failed to warn workers not to destroy files amid investigations of the firm.

Former technology banker Frank Quattrone went on the offensive Friday at his obstruction of justice trial, saying the prosecution’s key witness failed to warn workers not to destroy files amid investigations of the firm.

Later, prosecutors forced Quattrone to abruptly retreat from testimony a day earlier that he was not involved in allocating initial public offering shares to clients. In his second day on the witness stand, Quattrone admitted that he had.

Earlier, Quattrone said company lawyer David M. Brodsky told him Credit Suisse First Boston might be embarrassed by some e-mails he had exchanged in early December 2000.

Prosecutors say Quattrone warned CSFB employees in one e-mail to clean out their files.

Brodsky testified a week ago that he told Quattrone that the company was under investigation by federal regulators and prosecutors and that he should get a lawyer because he might be questioned.

But Quattrone testified Friday that he was not told by Brodsky about a government subpoena for documents until two days after he sent his e-mail directing workers to routinely clean out their files.

“Mr. Brodsky was going to be embarrassed because he hadn’t told people to preserve documents that were required by the subpoena,” he said.

Quattrone said he was never disciplined or reprimanded in any way for his e-mail.

He said he never thought his warning to clean out files would cause people to destroy subpoenaed documents. “Not for a moment,” he said.

Quattrone said he believed the type of files that would be destroyed would have “no relevance whatsoever” to the investigations.

On cross examination, prosecutors elicited humble answers from the banker who made more than $120 million in 2000 alone.

Asked if an investment banker has to be smart to succeed, he answered, “Not necessarily.” Asked if he was a good salesman, he said, “I don’t know.”