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NASD drops counts against Quattrone

Win is third for '90s dealmaker

WASHINGTON -- Securities industry regulators have dropped all charges against former star technology banker Frank Quattrone over how his investment bank allocated shares of hot IPOs during the late-1990s Internet boom.

The National Association of Securities Dealers, the brokerage industry's self-policing organization, withdrew the charges for procedural reasons. The ruling Wednesday by an NASD hearing officer was the third in a trio of wins for Quattrone.

In March, the Securities and Exchange Commission overturned his lifetime ban from the industry and his conviction on charges of obstructing justice was thrown out by a federal appeals court.

He faces a third trial on those charges if prosecutors decide to pursue one, rather than to appeal the overturning of his conviction. Quattrone's lawyers indicated recently that they were engaged in talks with the government on a possible settlement that would spare him a trial.

Quattrone was a king deal maker of the Internet stock boom who made a fortune helping bring some of the hottest new Internet companies to the market as head of the technology division at Wall Street investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston, which has since changed its name to Credit Suisse (USA) Inc. He was convicted in May 2004 on federal charges of obstruction of justice, after his first trial ended in a hung jury in 2003. The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction in March, granting Quattrone a third trial.

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