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Dewey battle winds down as New York court dismisses most serious charges against former executives

A New York state judge has dismissed charges of grand larceny against two former Dewey & LeBoeuf executives, leaving only three minor charges to go to trial this September.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Robert Stolz has dismissed 15 grand larceny charges against former Dewey & LeBoeuf executive director Stephen DiCarmine and former firm chief finance officer Joel Sanders. Those charges would have meant prison sentences of up to 25 years each if convicted on the charge of grand larceny.

In a blow to the prosecution, the decision removes the most serious charges against the defendants, however they continue to face charges of conspiracy, scheme to defraud and violation of securities fraud.

In October last year the judge declared a mistrial in criminal proceedings against the former executives of now-collapsed firm Dewey, after three weeks of jury deliberations.

DiCarmine and Sanders, alongside former chairman Steven Davis, were alleged to have intentionally inflated revenue at Dewey, which at its peak housed around 1,450 lawyers, and used accounting tricks to comply with covenants over its debt arrangements. Unveiled in March last year following a two year investigation, the charges were the first criminal charges following Dewey’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012.

In January Davis accepted a deferred prosecution agreement under which the charges against him will be dropped in five years on the proviso that he does not practice law in New York or commit any crimes. DiCarmine and Sanders are scheduled to be retried this September however the remaining charges do not carry any mandatory sentences.

Representing the defendants is Bryan Cave partner Austin Campriello for DiCarmine; and Andrew Frisch, who runs his own New York boutique, for Sanders.