Dewey Prosecutors Intend to Seek New Trial of Ex-Executives

  • Earlier jury deadlocked in case against three former employees
  • District attorney charged trio with grand larceny and fraud

Three former top executives of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP are likely to face another jury after prosecutors said they plan to retry them on charges tied to the largest law-firm bankruptcy in history.

The government intends to “proceed to a retrial” of the three ex-executives, a state prosecutor said Friday, according to a transcript of a hearing in a related case.

The case ended in a mistrial in October when jurors deadlocked on whether the executives lied to investors in the run-up to the bankruptcy, following weeks of deliberations during which the jury acquitted the trio of lesser charges. Vance’s probe was aided by seven former firm employees who cooperated and pleaded guilty, including the former finance director. Prosecutors called more than 40 witnesses during the trial -- none of whom were accounting experts -- while the defense called none.

Prosecutors charged the defendants with grand larceny, fraud and conspiracy, alleging they inflated income as the law firm’s cash flow slowed amid the financial crisis. It’s unclear whether Vance will scale back the charges or narrow his case at the new trial. The mistrial was a third setback this year for Vance in a significant corporate crime case.

Monday Hearing

Prosecutors may formally announce that they plan to retry the three at a hearing scheduled for Monday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. Assistant District Attorney Peirce Moser made the comments Friday at a court appearance for Zachary Warren, a former client relations manager for the firm who faces separate charges that he helped plan false accounting entries and cover them up. Warren has pleaded not guilty.

Emily Tuttle, a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., declined to comment after court.

The government would like to resolve any defense request to dismiss the charges against the three executives and then proceed to a retrial before moving forward with its case against Warren, Moser said, according to the transcript.

The New York-based firm was created from a merger between Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & McRae in 2007. It was ranked 28th in gross revenue among the largest law firms by the trade publication American Lawyer in 2012 before filing for bankruptcy that same year, owing creditors $245 million.

Elkan Abramowitz, an attorney for former firm chairman Steven Davis, Austin Campriello, a lawyer representing former executive Stephen DiCarmine, and Andrew Frisch, an attorney for former chief financial officer Joel Sanders, didn’t immediately respond to phone messages seeking comment on the prosecutor’s remarks.

The case is People v. Davis, 773-2014, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

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