The One Who Got Away

The decision to abandon a high-profile case against a dotcom poster boy marks the end of a sorry era

Frank Quattrone was always good at making deals. As a sizzling Silicon Valley investment banker during the tech boom of the 1990s, he orchestrated the initial public offerings (IPOs) of start-ups from Netscape to collecting as much as $120 million a year for himself in the process. Yet the deal he reached last week may well be the one he cherishes most. After 31/2 years of court dates, two criminal trials and the prospect of jail time, Quattrone struck a deal in which federal prosecutors agreed to all but drop charges that he obstructed justice during a 2000 investigation into...

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