Throwing The Book At Drexel

The Government's sweeping fraud charges could cripple an investment empire and its junk-bond wizard

Michael Milken, the most powerful financier of the 1980s, was limping when he entered a mid-Manhattan office last Wednesday to meet with TIME Senior Correspondent Frederick Ungeheuer for a rare interview. The 42-year-old junk- bond wizard was recovering, he explained, from knee surgery to remove cartilage he had torn in a backyard basketball game at his suburban Los Angeles home. Looking tanned and relaxed, Milken did not know that he was minutes away from being slammed with one of the most sweeping stock-fraud lawsuits in Wall Street history.

He spoke with boyish enthusiasm, fixing his visitor with an unhurried, brown-eyed gaze....

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