Former Dewey & LeBoeuf chairman Steven Davis will not face a second Manhattan criminal trial for allegedly defrauding lenders and investors, according to a person familiar with the case.
Meanwhile, defense attorneys for former Dewey executive director Stephen DiCarmine and former chief financial officer Joel Sanders said they assume their clients will be retried.
The decision not to retry Davis was first reported by The New York Times and was confirmed by sibling publication New York Law Journal. The news comes less than two months after Acting Supreme Court Justice Robert Stolz declared a mistrial on 93 counts against Davis, DiCarmine and Sanders.
State prosecutors in Manhattan have accused the trio of artificially inflating the firm’s net income to deceive banks and investors ahead of Dewey’s 2012 bankruptcy and collapse.
A spokeswoman for the DA’s office declined to comment on reports that Davis would not be retried. Lawrence Bader, an attorney for Davis and a partner at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello, also declined to comment.
Sanders’ attorney, Andrew Frisch, who runs his own white-collar boutique, said that he “expects his client to be retried,” which would be “disappointing and very wrong.”
Bryan Cave’s Austin Campriello, who represents DiCarmine, said that he also assumed prosecutors still planned to retry his client.
In October, jurors became hopelessly deadlocked on charges against the three law firm leaders that included first-degree grand larceny, scheme to defraud and conspiracy. In two partial verdicts, the jury acquitted the defendants on 58 other counts.
Prosecutors sought to paint Davis as the architect of the alleged scheme during the trial, claiming that DiCarmine and Sanders functioned as his two right-hand men. The prosecution described Davis’ actions as “more veiled,” drawing an analogy between Davis’ conduct and those of a drug dealer.
Over four months of trial, however, the prosecution strained to link Davis to direct evidence of wrongdoing. Some cooperating witnesses for the prosecution said they heard instructions from Sanders, but many said they rarely spoke with Davis.
Jurors told reporters after the trial that Sanders received the most guilty votes during deliberations, followed by DiCarmine, while Davis received the least.
Prosecutors may announce more details of their intentions on Monday, when a conference is scheduled in the case. During a conference in a related case on Friday, the DA’s office signaled it would retry the case, but gave no specifics. Assistant district attorney Peirce Moser told Stolz that motions to dismiss are pending and that his office would like to resolve those motions and proceed to a retrial.
At issue Friday was the timing of a separate trial against former Dewey junior manager Zachary Warren. Stolz last year ordered that Warren’s case be severed and that Davis, DiCarmine and Sanders be tried first. Moser said the government would prefer to try the executives first.
Warren’s attorney, Zuckerman Spaeder partner Paul Shechtman, said Friday that his client should not have to wait for the executives’ case to be resolved. Warren would like to “put this behind him and move on with his life,” Shechtman said.
Warren, 31, practices at Pittsburgh-based Employment Rights Group, where he handles plaintiff wage and hour and discrimination cases.
Stolz said it may be a good idea to try Warren first but did not resolve the issue Friday. He invited Shechtman to appear at Monday’s conference in the executives’ case.