Former Dewey & LeBoeuf Leaders Indicted for Fraud

On Thursday, in a historic move over a failed law firm, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. charged former Dewey & LeBoeuf chairman Steven Davis, DiCarmine, and Sanders with a 106-count indictment. Charges against each included dozens of felonies including falsification of business records, grand larceny and securities fraud. Zachary Warren, the former client-relation manager of the failed law firm was also charged with initiating the fraud and helping to cover up its early stages.

All four men pleaded not guilty in the Manhattan criminal court. They were taken before the court in handcuffs, which is rare, and bail was set for them. The highest bail amount was set at $2 million for Davis, DiCarmine and Sanders. Davis, who currently lives in London, and agreed to travel restrictions. The lowest bail was set at $200,000 for Warren.

During the hearing, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Peirce Moser told the judge that the men had "acted out of a shocking mix of greed and hubris."

Vance said at a press conference that the Dewey's top management directed the law firm's finance department to engage in "blatant accounting fraud and deceit," and the finance officials of the firm provided false information to the law firm's auditor - Ernst & Young. Vance said seven people, whose names have not been disclosed, have already pleaded guilty in the case and the investigation continues.

Dewey & LeBoeuf, formed by the merger of two New York law firms, Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, once had 1400 lawyers on its rolls, and its collapse was the largest failure of a U.S. law firm. Thousands of jobs were lost and lenders, investors and banks lost hundreds of millions of dollars. The failure of the firm is blamed upon the Rainmaker's Ponzi cooked up by the law firm management where Rainmakers were laterally hired from other firms with huge promises, and the promises to earlier hires kept by paying out from partner contributions of those who joined later.

Steven Davis had agreed to pay $511,145 in April 2012 as part of a settlement releasing him from mismanagement claims by the trustee of the Dewey estate and had kept out of the public eye since then. However, the criminal investigation ongoing at the time has led to the present indictment.

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