The criminal indictments of three former Dewey leaders accused of engineering a massive fraud that helped kill the firm include a wealth of potentially damaging email messages that lawyers for the defendants say have been taken out of context. What follows are some of the most colorful excerpts.

•”We came up with a big one. Reclass disbursements.”—Joel Sanders to Stephen DiCarmine, on or about Dec. 29, 2008, about a fraudulent adjustment.

“You always do in the last hours. That’s why we get the extra 10 or 20% bonus. Tell [your wife], stick with me! We’ll buy a ski house next. Just need to keep the ship a float [sic]“—DiCarmine to Sanders on the same date.

•”We need $50M tomorrow to meet our covenant.”—Sanders to DiCarmine and Steven Davis on or about Dec. 30, 2008. (“Ugh,” Davis replied.)

•”Great job dude. We kicked ass! Time to get paid.”—a person identified only as Employee C writing to client relations manager Zachary Warren on or about Dec. 31, 2008, about a so-called master plan outlining fraudulent adjustments that Employee C and Sanders had decided to pursue.

“Hey man, I don’t know where you come up with this stuff, but you saved the day. It’s been a rough year but it’s been damn good. Nice work dude. Let’s get paid!”—Warren, on the same date.

•”We are short on the covenant. I really need your help with some ideas. We need to hit it. Start thinking and let’s talk sometime this morning.”—Employee C to a person identified as Employee D, on or about Jan. 5, 2009.

•”Maybe we should [post it] to a pending billable matter.”—Employee C to Employee D, on or about Jan. 7, 2009, discussing the reversal of a write-off of charges from an American Express card linked to Sanders. (Employee D’s response: “That would be less visible.”)

•”I assume you new [sic] this but just in case. Can you find another clueless auditor for next year?”—Sanders to Employee C, on or about June 27, 2009, regarding the departure of the audit partner from an unidentified accounting firm who was engaged in a 2008 year-end audit of Dewey.

“That’s the plan. Worked perfect this year.”—Employee C’s response to Sanders on the same date.

•”I said at the Exec Committee meeting that if we can really collect (with no adjustments) between $850k and $875k then we will do between $14k and $15k per point. If we bring $850M in the door (real collections—no accounting adjustments including constructive receipt or reclassing disbursements) we can get really aggressive and push the envelope to $14k per point. … Keep in mind though that at these levels we will not have the cash to pay the partners by Jan 31 since $25M is fake income.”—Sanders to Davis, DiCarmine and an individual identified as Employee B, on Nov. 10, 2009, regarding the firm’s budget targets.

•“I’m really sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I had a collections meeting today and we can’t make our target. The reality is we will miss our net income covenant by $100M and come in at about $7k per point. … I can probably come through with enough ‘adjustments’ to get us to miss the covenant by $50M-$60M and get the points to $10k but that pretty much wipes out any possible cushion we may have had for next year which was slim at best. The banks are going to require a plan which is not going to be pretty . . . . ”—Sanders writes to Davis and DiCarmine in an email with the subject line “Reality Check,” on or about Dec. 9, 2009.