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March 31, 2014

Guilty Pleas of Dewey Staff Detail the Alleged Fraud

“The extent of an alleged scheme to hide the true financial condition of now-defunct law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP became clearer Friday, when a judge revealed the identities and statements of former employees who have pleaded guilty to helping carry it out.

“The former employees worked throughout the firm’s financial operations and include accountants, billing staff and back-office workers. The plea agreements of six of the employees were unsealed on Friday, while the plea agreement of a seventh, Francis J. Canellas, a former finance director at Dewey, was unsealed on Thursday.

“According to statements attached to their plea agreements, the six worked most closely with Mr. Canellas or Joel Sanders, the firm’s former chief financial officer, and they said they helped carry out plans to overstate revenue and use accounting tricks to hide losses and cover up cash shortages until the firm was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2012. The allegations are at the heart of an indictment filed against the firm’s former leaders earlier this month.

“Taken collectively, the statements paint a picture of a small cabal of underlings who over a period of years slavishly carried out the instructions of Messrs. Canellas and Sanders, despite knowing what they were being asked to do was wrong.”

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Read full Wall Street Journal article here.

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