Following a nearly two-year investigation that began as Dewey & LeBoeuf spiraled toward death, its former chairman, Steven Davis; its former executive director, Stephen DiCarmine; and its ex–chief financial officer, Joel Sanders, were accused Thursday of “concocting and overseeing a massive effort to cook the books” at the firm.

“This is not a simple case of aggressive accounting, bad business judgment or poor management,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said during a Thursday morning press conference called to announce the indictments [PDF] [PDF] of Davis, DiCarmine, Sanders and Zachary Warren, who served as client relations manager for the firm in 2008 and 2009. Rather, Vance said, the evidence uncovered in the grand jury’s investigation shows “blatant accounting fraud and deceit perpetrated by all levels of the accounting department at the direction of the firm’s chairman and chief executives.”

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