U.S. v. Frank Quattrone
THE E-MAIL: “Clean up those files” before you go on vacation, wrote a colleague—a sentiment that was electronically endorsed by Quattrone.
THE RESULT: Quattrone was found guilty of impeding a government investigation into whether Credit Suisse First Boston gave stock offerings to favored clients.
Hollinger International v. Conrad Black
THE E-MAIL: “There has not been an occasion for many months when I have not gotten on our plane without wondering if it was really affordable. But I’m not prepared to reenact the French revolutionary renunciation of the rights of nobility,” wrote Black.
THE RESULT: Black is being sued for $1.2 billion by angry shareholders.
U.S. v. Arthur Andersen
THE E-MAIL: “I suggest delet[ing] some language that might suggest we have concluded the release is misleading,” wrote one of the auditor’s lawyers, Nancy Temple, about an Enron financial release.
THE RESULT: Found guilty of obstructing an SEC investigation into the collapse of Enron, Andersen then collapsed itself.
Gruner + Jahr v. Rosie O’Donnell
THE E-MAIL: “The management team is recommending that we manage the financials such that we do not fall below the required threshold point. . . so that we can continue to publish Rosie,” wrote G+J CFO Larry Diamond. (O’Donnell could quit if losses hit $4.2 million.)
THE RESULT: The judge rejected G+J’s damages claim.
New York v. Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz
THE E-MAIL: “Something funny . . . is likely apparent if any decent accountant looks at this,” wrote Kozlowski’s outside lawyer to Tyco’s in-house attorney. Another e-mail said: “Creativeness is employed in hitting the forecasts.”
THE RESULT: Kozlowski, the subject of a 32-count indictment, awaits retrial.