SEC settlement with former law firm Dewey CFO ends eight-year civil case


(Reuters) – A federal judge in Manhattan has signed a settlement between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Joel Sanders, the former chief financial officer of former international law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf, to resolve claims for agency civil fraud.

Under the settlement approved Monday by U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni, Sanders must pay the SEC more than $95,000 in restitution and prejudgment interest. The agreement also prohibits Sanders from being an officer or director of a publicly traded company.

Sanders did not admit or deny wrongdoing under the settlement.

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Sanders was convicted separately and sentenced to a $1 million fine and 750 hours of community service in 2017 after a Manhattan jury found he used illegal accounting adjustments between 2008 and 2012 to conceal Dewey’s financial difficulties from investors in his bonds, including Bank of America Corp and HSBC Holdings Plc.

Citing his criminal conviction, the SEC also banned Sanders from practicing before the agency on Monday.

Michael King, an attorney representing Sanders, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did an SEC spokesperson.

King told Reuters in August he believed the civil case between Sanders and the SEC was “the only remaining open case involving the former Dewey executive.”

The New York-based law firm once had nearly 1,400 attorneys but went bankrupt in 2012, unable to pay the lavish compensation it promised to recruit star partners.

The SEC sued Sanders and other former Dewey executives, including Stephen DiCarmine, the company’s former chief executive, and former Dewey chairman Steven Davis, alleging they conspired to hide poor financial health from the law firm to the investors.

In the separate criminal case, a Manhattan jury in 2015 convicted Sanders of misleading investors while acquitting DiCarmine. Prosecutors dropped charges against Davis after he accepted a five-year ban from practicing law in New York.

Davis and DiCarmine paid $130,000 and $35,000, respectively, to resolve the SEC complaints in 2018. They did not admit or deny the SEC allegations as part of their settlements.

Read more:

SEC deal could end former Dewey & LeBoeuf CFO’s longstanding legal troubles

Former Dewey & LeBoeuf executive avoids jail after fraud conviction

Split verdict for Dewey & LeBoeuf executives in second trial

Former Dewey & LeBoeuf chairman reaches settlement and avoids new trial

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David Thomas

Thomson Reuters

David Thomas reports on legal activity, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.


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