CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

2nd Cir: Overturns White Collar Conviction for Flawed Jury Instructions

On Monday, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned the conviction of Frank P. Quattrone, a former technology investment banker at Credit Suisse First Boston.  The court ruled that the judge presiding over the case gave the jury erroneous instructions and ordered a retrial of Quattrone under a different judge than the one who originally presided over the case.

The jury had convicted Quattrone of obstruction of justice for encouraging the destruction of documents that were being sought by a grand jury and the Securities and Exchange Commission. In writing for the court, Judge Richard C. Wesley said the original judge, Judge Owen's, instructions regarding the requisite mens rea were flawed.  The instructions did not require jurors to determine that Quattrone knew the documents he was asking associates to destroy were the same ones being sought by investigators.  Instead of requiring Quattrone's specific knowledge, it "left a barebones strict liability case." More. . . [Mark Godsey]

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