Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Quattrone Gets a Deferred Prosecution

The Frank Quattrone case is essentially resolved.  The government and accused have entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and the court has signed off on this agreement.  (See Peter Lattman at the Wall Street Jrl Blog here)   Some thoughts on the agreement here.

  • This is a superb resolution for both Frank Quattrone and the government. (see prior post here)  After all, his attorney fees for two trials and preparation for a third were probably sufficient punishment, not to mention all the collateral consequences that he has suffered. 
  • The government is not walking away empty handed, as they might have should this case have gone to trial a third time.  Rather, they have some concession from Frank Quattrone - he promises to be good.
  • The agreement kind of reminds one of the deferred prosecution agreements given to juveniles. Stay clean and we won't prosecute you.  It is basically saying - we'll give you a second chance.
  • The best part is he "can only associate with law-abiding persons."  How do you know if someone is abiding by the law?  Obviously if they are murdering someone in front of you, you will know.  But what if they don't pay their taxes, will you really know this?
  • The agreement lasts for one year, and should be relatively easy for Quattrone to abide by.  There is no admission of guilt here.
  • Deferred prosecution agreements filed after a case is pending have to be submitted to the judge for approval, as in this case.  In contrast, deferred or non-prosecution agreements pre-trial can remain outside the system.  This has been very problematic for corporations that are asked to sign away their attorney-client material or provide no support to employees.  Without a pending case, there is no judicial oversight.  Only when the individuals are eventually indicted as in the Stein, et. al case is it possible for the judiciary to provide oversight.  It is good to see the court participating in this resolution.

(esp)

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