“We are disappointed that Frank Quattrone will face another trial because he is innocent,” lead defense lawyer John Keker said. “We remain confident that the government’s evidence is insufficient to prove their case.”
The lone criminal defendant to emerge from the government’s two-year crackdown on Wall Street conflicts of interest, the former high-tech banker stands accused of urging staff members to destroy documents as regulators investigated the allocation of hot stock offerings.
Former prosecutors expect the defense team to be better prepared in a second round. Quattrone, 48, undermined his credibility in the first trial when he was forced to admit under cross-examination that he played a role in the allocation of hot stocks while at Credit Suisse First Boston.
“Keker won’t allow the same mistake to happen again,” says George Newhouse Jr., a partner at Thelen Reid & Priest and former federal prosecutor. “Prosecutors tried this case as well as they could. Unless they find some miracle witness lurking out in the woods, they face very long odds.”
But Newhouse and other former prosecutors are not surprised at the government’s stance, because the jury in the initial trial was deadlocked 8-3 in favor of a conviction on two of three charges of obstruction and witness tampering.
“There is a lot of face-saving going on,” says Edward Davis, a partner at Gray Cary and former federal prosecutor. “If the jury in the first trial had split, it would have been easier to walk away. But with a majority of the jury voting to convict, prosecutors had little choice but to go for a retrial.”