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Former Dewey Employees’ Names Sealed by Manhattan District Attorney

The Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., announced that seven former employees of defunct law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf will remain unidentified until a later date, according to the New York Times. The seven people have pleaded guilty in the scheme that manipulated the financial statements of the firm.

“It’s not the typical process,” said Alafair S. Burke, a criminal law professor at Hofstra University School of Law. Burke said that keeping names quiet is normal when fear of witness tampering is possible, but that does not seem to be apparent in this case.

A former Manhattan assistant prosecutor, Christopher E. Chang, said, “It is unusual to have the pleas sealed at this juncture and in the context of this case.”

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Motions have been filed by the New York Times with the New York State Supreme Court to unseal the criminal cases of four “John Does” and two “Jane Does” who are purported to be part of the seven former employees who pled guilty.

Some legal experts believe that some of the seven unnamed people will testify against the defendants at trial. Those who spoke anonymously about this said the names would eventually have to be turned over to lawyers for the defendants.

Three of the seven people Vance accepted pleas from include the former finance director at the firm, Francis Canellas; the former controller at the firm, Thomas Mullikin; and the former director of budgeting and planning, Ilya Alter.

Canellas and Mullikin were named as defendants in a civil case filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission for their part in a sale of $150 million in bonds by the law firm back in 2010.

Up until a couple days ago, Mullikin was serving as the controller for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. A spokeswoman for the firm, Lisa Green, said that Mullikin does not work for the firm any longer.

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