WALL STREET: With Friends Like This . . .

With Friends Like This . . .

Even in the frenzied world of Wall Street dealmakers, speculator Salim ("Sandy") Lewis stood out as a talkaholic with a penchant for dispensing advice and hatching colorful schemes. Last week a federal grand jury in Manhattan charged Lewis with manipulating stock in an apparent attempt to help out American Express and its chairman, James Robinson, a longtime Lewis friend.

The indictment accuses Lewis of conspiring with Los Angeles broker Boyd Jefferies in 1986 to drive up the stock price of Fireman's Fund insurance company from 37 7/8 to 38 just before American Express sold 9 million shares. While Jefferies confessed last...

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