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Frank Quattrone almost single-handedly turned Credit Suisse First Boston into a leading banker of the internet boom, and earned hundreds of millions of dollars in the process, after stints at Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley.
The son of a Philadelphia trouser presser, he became one of the most powerful figures of Silicon Valley, leading a top team of technology research analysts. But at CSFB, he would become an unwitting symbol of overreach among Wall Street analysts covering what was then the hottest sector in the investment world.
As the scandal concerning Mr Quattrone’s e-mail unfolded, the number-one “unwritten rule” for his team at CSFB was revealed to be: “If you can’t say something positive, don’t say anything at all.”
December 5 2000 - Mr Quattrone forwards an e-mail urging colleagues to “clean up” their files. Message is sent just two days after a CSFB lawyer had warned Mr Quattrone that the bank’s allocation practices in initial public offerings were under criminal examination.
January 21 2002 - The National Association of Securities Dealers, the industry’s self-regulatory group, and the Securities and Exchange Commission announce that CSFB has paid $100m to settle an investigation into excessive commissions that Mr Quattrone’s brokers demanded from hedge funds in exchange for “hot” IPOs.
April 2002 - The SEC and Eliot Spitzer, New York state attorney-general, launch investigations into conflicts of interest at Salomon Smith Barney, Credit Suisse First Boston and Morgan Stanley. Mr Spitzer’s investigation in Merrill Lynch on the same issue began the year before.
February 3 2003 - CSFB puts Mr Quattrone, its star technology banker, on leave while it investigates his attempt to get staff to destroy documents.
March 4 2003 - Mr Quattrone resigns from Credit Suisse First Boston amid criminal investigations.
March 6 2003 - The National Association of Securities Dealersfiles civil charges against Mr Quattrone, alleging that the enormous revenues he generated during the internet boom were based on crooked stock research and initial public offering allocation procedures.
April 23 2003 - Mr Quattrone surrenders to authorities after being charged with criminally obstructing the government’s investigation into initial public offerings he oversaw during the internet boom.
October 24 2003 -A three-week court action against Mr Quattrone ends in a mistrial. The US judge granted the mistrial after jurors told him they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the three counts of obstruction of justice and witness tampering filed against Mr Quattrone.
January 16 2004 - Mr Quattrone is fined $30,000 and suspended from working in the securities industry by the National Association of Securities Dealers.
April 13 2004 - Mr Quattrone’s retrial begins.
May 3 2004 - Mr Quattrone is found guilty of covering up an investigation into hot stock offerings at Credit Suisse First Boston. He is convicted by a jury on two criminal counts of obstruction of justice and one count of witness tampering.
September 8 2004 - Mr Quattrone is sentenced to 18 months in prison. At the time he is the first senior Wall Street figure to face prison in more than a decade. In addition to the harsher than expected prison term, Judge Richard Owen sentences him to two years’ probation and fines him $90,000.
October 19 2004 - Mr Quattrone wins a court ruling that will allow him to stay out of prison until a decision is reached on his appeal.
March 20 2006 - A US federal appeals court throws out his 2004 conviction, saying the judge in the case had given erroneous instructions to the jury.
June 1 2006 - NASD drops civil charges against Mr Quattrone.
August 22 2006 - Mr Quattrone says he plans to re-enter business after a judge approved a settlement that would allow him to avoid a third trial for obstructing justice. The judge backs a “deferred prosecution” agreement that Mr Quattrone reached with federal prosecutors, meaning charges will be dropped if he does not break the law in the next year.
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