The former chief financial officer of Dewey & LeBoeuf has escaped a prison sentence after being convicted of securities fraud at the defunct law firm. Joel Sanders was instead sentenced to pay a $1 million fine and 750 hours community service.The sentence puts an end to five years of proceedings over the firm which collapsed in 2012 after it could not pay for a major compensation package it had used to recruit top partners. Three of the firm's top executives were charged after prosecutors claimed the executives used illegal accounting adjustments between 2008 and 2012 to hide the firm’s financial difficulties from investors in its bonds, including Bank of America Corp and HSBC Holdings.
The first trial for the three executives ended in a mistrial in October 2015 when jurors, after four months of testimony and a month of deliberations, could not make an outright decision. Former law firm chairman Steven Davis was partly acquitted in the first trial. He reached a deferred prosecution agreement to avoid retrial on the remaining charges. His deal called for a five-year ban on law practice in New York and a lifetime ban on practice before the Securities and Exchange Commission. Dewey’s former executive director, Stephen DiCarmine, was acquitted in May following the second trial. Joel Sanders was convicted with prosecutors demanding a four year sentence.