The truth lies somewhere in a trail of e-mail. According to U.S. Attorney James Comey, one of Quattrone's colleagues suggested, in an e-mail dated Dec. 4, 2000, that company bankers clean out their files before the holidays. "Today, it's administrative housekeeping," the message says. "In January, it could be improper destruction of evidence." Quattrone replied, "I strongly advise you to follow these procedures." Days earlier, company lawyers had told him CSFB had been issued a subpoena. His lawyer, John Keker, says Quattrone is innocent. CSFB, which paid $100 million to settle the ipo charges, declined to comment. Quattrone resigned in March.
The criminal charges remind Wall Street that it is not off the hook yet. Several big firms settled charges that they had slanted stock research to win investment-banking fees. But other probes continue. If convicted, Quattrone would face a 10-year-maximum prison sentenceand a life sentence as a symbol of a decade's greed.