Federal prosecutors made it known yesterday
that their ongoing probe into class action giant, Milberg Weiss
may yet expand further. The Feds have been doggedly pursuing information on Milberg bad acts for years. They finally hit paydirt with a perfect storm of informants and double-dealers, who provided regulators with details on kickbacks ($11.3 million over the last 25 years) allegedly given by Milberg to regular, repeated lead plaintiffs in its class action cases.
Thus far, indictments have been brought, lawyers have fled, offices have closed and not guilty pleas have been entered and Milberg partners, Steven Schulman and David Bershad are awaiting trial, a trial that now has a date
- January 8, 2008.
The new charges teased reportedly relate to potentially false invoices submitted on behalf of expert witnesses for work that was never performed. One wonders whether such false invoices might also relate to work conducted by outside investigators on Milberg's behalf. While in recent years Milberg had moved much of this work to internal staff, they have been a great and lucrative source of work for investigators for many years.
In related news, Bill Lerach, the famous former partner in Milberg Weiss who a few years back hung out his own shingle, has remained untouched by the case against Milberg. It seems at the present time, in fact, that no additional individuals will added to the prosecutors case. But that hasn't stopped the matter from having an impact.
One has to assume, for example, that the indictment played a role in the request to have Lerach's firm removed
as lead counsel in the ongoing $4 billion class action lawsuit against Haliburton, in favor of David Boies.
Labels: Bill Lerach, David Bershad, David Boies, kickbacks, Lazar, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss