Former Dewey finance director signs new plea agreement with shorter recommended sentence
Former Dewey & LeBoeuf finance director Francis Canellas has signed a new plea agreement that carries a lesser recommended prison sentence.
The new agreement signed by Francis Canellas admits to a scheme to defraud, and has a recommended sentence of one to three years in prison, the New York Law Journal (sub. req.) reports. Previously Canellas had admitted to the more serious charge of second-degree grand larceny, which carried a recommendation of two to six years in prison.
The New York Law Journal describes Canellas as the lead cooperating witness in the criminal case against former Dewey leaders. He testified last year that law firm chairman Steven Davis, executive director Stephen DiCarmine and chief financial officer Joel Sanders were aware of improper accounting methods used to mislead lenders and auditors about the law firm’s finances before its collapse.
Jurors acquitted Davis, Sanders and DiCarmine on some of the charges and deadlocked on others. A judge tossed the grand larceny charges against Sanders and DiCarmine in February; they are scheduled to be retried in January. Davis entered a deferred prosecution agreement in which he will not practice law for five years.
The new plea agreement for Canellas notes the dismissal of the grand larceny charges against Sanders and DiCarmine, and says fairness requires Canellas be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea to the same charge, according to the New York Law Journal.