The U.S. Attorney’s Office has announced a plea agreement with Bill Lerach, former partner at Milberg Weiss. He will plead guilty one one count of conspiracy, forfeit $7.75 million, and pay a $250,000 fine. He will receive a prison sentence that could be from one to two years.
The charges against Lerach were part of a string of indictments in an investigation of millions of dollars in secret kickbacks paid by Milberg Weiss in exchange for people being named plaintiffs in class-action suits and shareholder suits. The government has alleged that Milberg Weiss received more than $200 million in fees from these lawsuits.
As part of the plea agreement, Lerach acknowledges that he conspired to conceal evidence in the federal cases related to the kickbacks. He also acknowledges:
“… that other plaintiffs received payments from other partners of Milberg Weiss. These individuals were generally promised 10 percent of the attorneys’ fees received by Milberg Weiss. The payments were kept secret from the courts overseeing the class actions, and the named plaintiffs who received the kickbacks made false statements under oath concerning the payments.”