(Adds statement regarding Sanders)
By Karen Freifeld
NEW YORK, March 28 A New York judge on Friday
unsealed the records of six former Dewey & LeBoeuf employees who
pleaded guilty in connection with accounting fraud at the law
The records offer a fresh peek into the government's case
against top executives at the defunct elite international law
firm and how key witnesses might testify against them.
The employees, who range from Dewey's controller to its
billing director, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors who have
targeted the firm's top management.
Dewey's former chairman, Steven Davis, 60, Executive
Director Stephen DiCarmine, 57, and Chief Financial Officer Joel
Sanders, 55, were charged March 6 with taking part in a scheme
to cheat banks and investors as they struggled unsuccessfully to
keep the law firm alive.
Dewey & LeBoeuf collapsed in 2012, the largest U.S. law firm
to file for bankruptcy. If convicted of the top counts against
them, the executives each face up to 25 years behind bars.
Prosecutors have accused the executives of using accounting
fraud so that Dewey & LeBoeuf could get and keep more than $200
million in financing.
The firm's lenders included JPMorgan Chase & Co,
Citigroup Inc's private banking unit, Bank of America Corp
and HSBC Holdings Plc. Dewey & LeBoeuf also had a $150
million bond offering in 2010.
The court records offer detailed admissions of wrongdoing
but hazy accounts of the direct evidence prosecutors have
against the three executives and Zachary Warren, 29, a
lower-level employee also charged in the case.
Thomas Mullikin, 53, the controller, said he had only
infrequent contact with Sanders, "even less" frequent with
DiCarmine, and no contact with Davis.
"I never met the firm's chairman," Mullikin said in his
formal admission to wrongdoing.
The controller pleaded guilty to a felony charge known as
scheme to defraud. If he cooperates, prosecutors said they would
recommend a jail sentence of five months.
The other staffers who pleaded guilty include Budget
Director Ilya Alter, 38, Revenue Support Director Dianne Cascino
55, Accounting Manager Jyhjing "Victoria" Harrington, 42,
Partner Relations Specialist David Rodriguez, 39, and Billing
Director Lourdes Rodriguez, 43.
Their crimes range from falsifying business records to
misdemeanor and felony counts of scheme to defraud.
Prosecutors said in the agreements they would recommend no
jail time for the five, if they meet certain conditions.
Dewey's ex-Finance Director Francis Canella also pleaded
guilty in the case. His record was unsealed on Thursday.
Prosecutors will recommend a sentence of two to six years in
prison, if he cooperates, according to his agreement.
Lawyers for the top executives, who have pleaded not guilty,
said the witnesses had not provided direct evidence against
Still, the admissions contained comments that prosecutors
may use in an effort to implicate Sanders.
"I was instructed by Joel Sanders to create invoices,
knowing that they would not be sent to clients," Lourdes
Rodriguez said in her statement.
The former billing manager said she understood the invoices
were "to hit certain numbers" that were required by the firm's
loan agreements with banks.
A lawyer for Warren could not immediately be reached.
The case is New York v Davis et al, New York State Supreme
Court, New York County.
(Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Andrew Hay and Dan