Schulman Also Sentenced
Milberg's David Bershad Gets Six Months
The last man on the hook for Milberg Weiss's plaintiff kickback scheme gets his own six months. Great re-cap of the sentencing of both Steve Schulman and David Bershad from The National Law Journal's Legal Pad.
Labels: David Bershad, Milberg Weiss, sentencing, Steven Schulman
The Last (No Really, The LAST) Shoe Drops
The former Milberg Weiss partner plead guilty last year to charges relating to his role in the law firm's 20 year scheme to to line up choice lead plantiffs thanks to generous, if illegal, kickbacks. Bershad, who has already forfeited about $8 million, was also assessed a $250,000 fine. More on Bershad's sentencing via Bloomberg.
Labels: David Bershad, Milberg, Milberg Weiss
Paul T. Selzer -- the final defendant in the government's bribery case against law firm, Milberg Weiss -- plans to plead guilty in relation to the Milberg Weiss kickback investigation.
Portfolio Puts Names to Milberg's Conspiring Partners
Selzer was originally indicted in the probe back in June of 2005.
Details of Selzer's plea agreement are expected this morning. Selzer, a California attorney, had been one of the key figures at the heart of the government's investigation into Milberg Weiss. securities class action lawsuits against a variety of companies.
It was alleged that Selzer helped Milberg funnel payments to his client, Seymour Lazar
, another attorney and reoccurring lead plaintiff for Milberg. It is expected that Selzer get probation and avoid jail time but be required to pay a $250,000 fine.
If you've hit the snooze button a few too many times in the course of the Milberg case and want a refresher, you might want to check out our recap of the Milberg investigation
, penned on the eve of the firms indictment back in May of 2006.
Labels: Bill Lerach, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss, Paul Selzer, Seymour Lazar, Steven Cooperman
Milberg Settlement Forthcoming
Milberg partners "E", "F" and "G" were only referenced in the government's complaint but never charged, at least by the Feds. Portfolio.com has the details on who we're talking about here
...as well as a bit of a Milberg history lesson to boot.
Labels: Jared Specthrie, Lawrence Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Robert Sugarman
$75 million is rumored number.
Larry Ribstein on the Melvyn Weiss Sentence
30 Months For Melvyn Weiss
The trial is set for August, but it seems increasingly likely we won't get there.
Labels: kickbacks, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, settlement
Well, they finally got their man...
33 Months Behind Bars for Mel Weiss?
Milberg in Settlement Talks
The End of Milberg Weiss?
With the firm itself set to go before a judge in August, it sounds like we can expect another settlement before too much longer.
The Weiss docs are up - you can check out the settlement terms for yourself right here
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, settlement
Melvyn Weiss Pleads Guilty
With the guilty plea from firm patriarch, Melvin Weiss you know the talk of Milberg's demise is going to make the rounds, never mind that they still top the lists of securities class action firms over the last year. Still, if you're interested in what various persons of interest from around the legal world have to say about Milberg's future, this Portfolio article is your huckleberry
Labels: class action, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, securities
Milberg Weiss Expert Witness, Torkelson, Pleads Guilty to Perjury
This has been a long road - a prosecution almost a decade in the making...
Melvyn Weiss, patriarch of securities class action powerhouse, Milberg Weiss, has plead guilty to one count of racketeering in connection with the government investigation into kickbacks meted out to lead plaintiffs in Milberg cases.
Weiss had been scheduled to go to trial in August. According to the terms of his deal with prosecutors, the 72 year old Weiss is expected to serve between 18 and 33 months and pay approximately $10 million in fines and forfeitures. More here, via the WSJ.
Through his legal representatives at Brafman & Associates, Weiss released this statement:
"I deeply regret my conduct and apologize to all those who have been affected, including all of the wonderful and extremely talented lawyers and other employees of the Firm, none of whom had any involvement in any wrongdoing. I believe that it is very important to preserve this unique legal resource for the benefit of victims of wrongdoing affecting the masses, who historically have been under-served in so many ways."
I cut my teeth as an investigator locating witnesses for Milberg cases and despite their obvious and at this point, clearly illegal, overreaching I retain a great deal of sympathy for their role - representing aggrieved shareholders. I've simply see too much of what companies will try to get away with to feel differently.
It is just a shame that Milberg, if in a slightly different context, became exactly the kind of entity they are supposed to protect clients against.
Labels: guilty, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, plea agreement
Lerach Writes Own Ticket on Sentencing (UPDATE - He Gets 2 Years)
John B. Torkelson is already serving time
, but the former star expert witness (he billed $60 million in expert fees between 1993 and 1996) still found himself pleading guilty this past week
on perjury charges...
Essentially Torkelson like any other expert had to attest to his independence each time he served as an expert. To protect this independence law firms are forbidden from paying experts on a contingency basis: i.e. - if they win. But that is exactly the type of arrangement Torkelson had over possibly hundreds of cases, including very many with what this press release wimpily refers to as
a law firm "with a principle office in New York."
Now, most people who'd bother to visit The Daily Caveat
might recognize this as a probable reference to Milberg Weiss and the phrasing as how that firm was referred to in the government investigation of class action litigation kickbacks prior to being officially named in the ensuing indictment. But a relationship between Torkelson and Milberg isn't exactly news.
We wrote about the connection and Torkelson's significance to the brewing Milberg indictment three years ago
. Torkelson, aside from whatever inappropriate payment arrangements
that he may have had with Milberg, was also involved in the AHI Healthcare lawsuit, which presented a perfect storm of informants for the Feds including involved parties: Torkelson himself, fraudster Steven Cooperman
and Milberg alum turned mortal enemy, Alan Schulman
Labels: Alan Schulman, John Torkelson, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Steven Cooperman
Bill Lerach has requested a one year prison term
Seymor Lazar Sentenced
, half of that to be spent at home. Prosecutors have been aiming for something more like two years. Specifically, "The federal probation office recommended a sentence of 15 to 21 months, two to three years of supervised release and a fine of $4,000 to $40,000."
The penalty would stem from Lerach's guilty plea on one count of conspriacy in relation to the governments investigation into plaintiff kickbacks paid by Lerach's former law firm, Milberg Weiss. Milberg co-founder Melvyn Weiss along with attorney Paul Selzer have both maintained their innocence and face trial later in the year.
SENTENCED: The final numbers are 2 years in prison, 250,000 fine, 1,000 hours of community service. Lerach is expected to surrender himself for incarceration in April
Labels: Bill Lerach, kickbacks, Lerach, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Paul Selzer
Milberg Fires Back With Dismissal Motion
Seymour Lazar, the 80 year old attorney - and serial securities plaintiff - who plead guilty in the Milberg kickback case has received his sentence
- six months home detention and two years probation. He was also fined $600,000. Lazar is the first to be sentenced in the Milberg probe.
Lazar has also already repaid $1.5 million, which amounts to what he was allegedly paid by Milberg Weiss in exchange for acting as a re-occurring lead plaintiff in the firm's securities class actions. Milberg stands accused (and seven people have already plead guilty in connection with) distributing $11 million in kickbacks to individuals they called upon to routinely serve as lead plaintiff in their cases.
Labels: Bill Lerach, kickbacks, Lerach, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Seymour Lazar
Milberg Attorney Nominated to Head NY Bar
Five motions, actually - in five days. All attempting to pick away at the government's case against the firm. Similar moves from the firm in the past haven't found much success with U.S. District Judge John Walter, who is presiding over the kickback trial of the mega-plaintiff firm. Better luck this time? We'll see. Details on the most recent Milberg motions can be found at Law.com.
Labels: dismissal, kickbacks, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, trial
Schulman Sues Milberg over Legal Bills
To say that her association with the now embattled securities firm casts a shadow over what should be a happy announcement for Patricia Hynes
would probably be an understatement. Take for example this pie-face from Roger Parloff at Fortune Magazine
. Probably didn't make her day.
Labels: Milberg Weiss, New York Bar, Patricia Hynes, Roger Parloff
Milber Weiss Faces Investor Lawsuit
The former partner at Milberg Weiss claims that the firm agreed to cover his legal bills subsequent to his guilty plea on the federal kickback case pending against the firm. Schulman has also sued Bill Lerach's former spin-off firm, Coughlin Stoia. More from Peter Lattman at the WSJ Lawblog.
Labels: Coughlin Stoia, kickbacks, Lerach, Milberg Weiss, Steven Schulman
Milberg Strategic Errors Risk the Survivial of the Firm
Texas billionaire Sam Wyly
is concerned that the cozy relationship between Milberg founder Melvyn Weiss
and Computer Associates board of director member (and former highly embarrassing U.S. Senator, Alfonse D'Amato)
, might have undercut the compensation obtained for aggrieved investors in CA.
Wyly has filed suit against Milberg, and a host of other firms who participated in the case (Stull, Stull & Brody
; Schiffrin, Barroway Topaz & Kessler
; and Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
). A key allegation in the case involves a summer 2003 meeting between Weiss, D'Amato and another CA board member in which a reasonable
settlement was discussed.
The reasonable deal that followed included an end to all pending actions against CA, immunity for past and present CA executives and board members as well as less that a penny to the dollar reimbursment of lost funds - a result which the Wyly team has labeled "one of the most egregious cases of [legal] malpractice I've seen in 23 years.".
Get the full-on details of the Wyly / Milberg suit at Newsday
And for a little more background on Mr. Wyly, including proxy fights at CA and a particularly spectacular hedge fund flame-out, see this BusinessWeek article
Labels: Alfonse D'Amato, CA, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss, Sam Wyly
On the Seymour Lazar Guilty Plea...
Great piece from The Recorder at Law.com
. Lots of detail from the 7 or so year history of the Milberg investigation that may have slipped your mind, along with a detailing of some strategic missteps by Milberg that may end up costing the firm everything.
Of course, for a refresher on the investigation, all you need to do is click the tags below. There was a huge flurry of news coverage back in and around January '06 at right about the time Lazar was indicted. And The Daily Caveat
Labels: Bill Lerach, Lerach, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Seymour Lazar, Steven Cooperman
Milberg Kickback Defendant, Seymour Lazar, Cops a Plea
Mel Weiss Pleads Not Guilty, Has Not Yet Begun to Fight
Melvyn Weiss Makes Bond
It is in. Reuters has details
. Sentencing will be January 28th, if the 80 year old Lazar makes in that far. Because of his age and relatively poor health, probation rather than jail appears to be in his future. Lazar has also agreed to forfeit $1.5 million and a fine of up to $600,000.
Labels: kickbacks, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Seymour Lazar
Milberg's Schulman Enters Guilty Plea
FT Looks at the "Fallen Angels" of the U.S. Plaintiffs Bar
He is currently free on $1 million bond and is, at a hearing today, expected to plead innocent to a variety of charges stemming from the government's investigation into kickbacks offered to Milberg clients. Weiss is facing four counts of conspiracy, racketeering, obstruction of justice and making false statements and could serve up 40 years based on the charges.
A trial is scheduled for January, where Weiss along with will co-defendants Seymour Lazar and attorney Paul Selzer, will get a chance to defend themselves against federal prosecutors' ever-expanding case. The Lazar and Selzer indictments kicked of a renewed push in the government's years-long investigation of Milberg Weiss. Lazar and Selzer were a multi-time Milberg plaintiff who purportedly received kickbacks from the firm.Further details on the Melvyn Weiss trial
can be found via Reuters... and of course, for past coverage from The Daily Caveat
, try the tags below.
Labels: kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Paul Selzer, Seymour Lazar
Melvyn Weiss Steps Down, Indictment Expected Today
Interesting, some might say apologist, perspective from the Financial Times
on the embroglio surrounding Messers Weiss and Lerach.
Labels: Bill Lerach, FTI Consulting, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
The word is out on the Mel Weiss indictment.
Melvyn Weiss Indictment Expected
Milberg issued a statement late yesterday indicating that, in anticipation of a revised indictment expected to be filed in short order (via the New York Observer
"Milberg Weiss understands that a second superseding indictment will be issued tomorrow that will include new charges against the Firm and also Melvyn Weiss. Mr. Weiss has decided to discontinue his participation in Firm management in order to focus on the defense of the charges against him. The Firm’s other partners, none of whom is alleged to have been involved in any wrong doing, will be responsible for its management and litigation activities. Mr. Weiss will remain available to counsel clients and Firm attorneys. The Firm remains proud of Mr. Weiss’s and the Firm’s accomplishments over the years and will continue to fight for its clients and class members and to produce the excellent results for which it is known. We do not anticipate any interruption in our work and we look forward to putting this difficult period behind us."
It has been reported
that the recent zeroing in on Weiss is the result of information obtained following the plea agreement of former Milberg lawyer, Steven Schulman. Over at CNNMoney,
Roger Parloff's Legal Pad blog has the Shulman plea agreement
linked if you want to review it for your own speculations. See Defendants Obligations
sub 18 for notes on Schulman's cooperation with authorities.
Labels: indictment, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss
The WSJ law Blog has details
Lerach Guilty Plea: To Serve 12 to 24 Months
and a statement from Milberg Weiss on the upcoming, revised kickback indictment, which is expected to include charges against Milbeg Weiss patriarch, Melvyn Weiss.
And as usual, at the WSJ Law Blog, half the fun is in the comments.
Labels: indictment, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss
Plaintiff Attorneys in the Cross-Hairs
Bill Lerach Retirement Date Announced
It is being widely reported today that William Lerach is expected to accept a plea bargain
in connection with the continuing kickback investigation into his former firm, Milberg Weiss. While Lerach had yet to be formally faced with any charges, it has been long assumed that he was one of the unnamed attorneys
mentioned throughout the government's case against Milberg.
The word coming in from all over creation is that Lerach will accept a guilty plea on one count of conspiracy for which he would face a sentence of 12 to 24 months and an $8 million fine. It is widely known that Lerach and his lawyers have been negotiating with federal prosecutors for some time now and this purported agreement apparently reflects the outcome of those talks. A judge would still have give final approval to the deal.
Lerach would be the second former Milberg attorney to plead guilty in connection with the case. The other would be indicted former partner David Bershad, who plead guilty back in July to similar charges. Steven Schulman, a third attorney from Milberg continues to deny kickback-related charges, as does the firm itself.
Please step back and allow the dancing on the grave to begin. Overlawyered
, I'm looking at you. Point of Law
, don't disappoint me now.
Personally, I'm biased. I'll admit it. I've worked in product safety and consumer advocacy. I also cut my teeth as an investigator working on too many securities class action lawsuits not to have my sympathies with Lerach and the plaintiffs' bar. Frankly, I can count the number of cases where something significant wasn't
found - probably on one hand. And yet clearly you must
play by the rules, rules which it seems were broken.
Of couse, the guilty plea isn't what burned Lerach's rep. Even before the kickback case got going in earnest (about 6 years into the 7 year investigation) Lerach was a already a polarizing figure.
His tactics over the year have done little to endear him to the other side of the aisle, but his success on behalf of investors have also not been insignificant.
The legal profession might be a bit dirtier for Lerach's influence and, lets call it zealous advocacy
, but you can't tell me that business isn't also a little cleaner as a result. I won't mourn his rightful prosecution but I don't plan on celebrating it either.
Labels: Bill Lerach, David Bershad, Lerach, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Seymour Lazar, Steven Cooperman, Steven Schulman
WSJ's Lattman Muses Over the Future of a Lerach-less Lerach Coughlin
In a statement released earlier in the week
the firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins announced that effective August 31st they would be dropping "Lerach" from their name. This move signals the expected retirement of firm co-founder and big gun (arguably the biggest gun in class action litigation), William S. Lerach.
Bill Lerach has spend the last year or so increasingly dogged by the results of a federal investigation into he and his former colleagues at plaintiff firm Milberg Weiss. After seven years of digging the probe heated up this year as authorities turned up the heat on key witnesses like former Milberg lead plaintiffs; retired entertainment attorney, Seymour Lazar and and the colorful eye doctor, art dealer and insurance fraudster, Steven Cooperman.
Since then we've seen indictments, resignations and, just perhaps, the end of an era. Lerach has yet to be indicted himself and may never be, but he remains one of the biggest fish in the case and - no doubt - the one prosecutors were looking to land all along. Amid all the speculation over whether an indictment of Lerach would be forthcoming murmers started about a potential retirement, one that might spare his current firm should Lerach be prosecuted.
It appears that August 31st will be the date
Lerach, with typical brass, had this to say, “I have appreciated the opportunity to fight for the victims of corporate fraud. However, I realize that my success has made me a target,” Mr. Lerach said in a statement. “These allegations have proven to be personally time-consuming, and I have decided to focus single-mindedly on putting the matter behind me once and for all.”
Labels: Bill Lerach, kickbacks, Lerach, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Seymour Lazar, Steven Cooperman
Is that wistfullness I hear?
Milberg Hearing Sees 3 Counts Dismissed, 20 to Go
As always with the WSJ Lawblog, half the fun is in the comments.
Labels: Bill Lerach, indictment, kickbacks, Lerach, Milberg, Milberg Weiss
Ideoblog Milberg Paper Gets NYT Coverage
Well, mail fraud looks to be out, but on the key question about whether or not the alleged kickbacks did any harm to Milberg's clients, the judge came down in favor the the government's case stating that the harm from these actions was "forseeable" and actual harm need not be proven. More on Milberg at the WSJ law blog
For additional notes on recent Milberg-related happenings, see Lyle Roberts' 10b-5 Daily
, which as you covered.
Labels: kickbacks, Milberg Weiss, Seymour Lazar, Steven Schulman
LA TImes Recaps the Milberg Investigation
A few weeks back we made reference to an upcoming paper on the Milberg kickback prosecution co-authored by Ideoblog's Karry Ribstein. The Wall Street Journal has a story on the still-to-be published law review article. Details (where else?) at Ideoblog
Labels: Ideoblog, kickbacks, Milberg Weiss, WSJ
Bershad Guilty Plea... Supporting Docs
Missed a few details along the way? The LA Times has you covered, courtesy The China Standard
. Of course, all you need to do is hit some of the tags below for The Daily Caveat to get you caught all the way up.
Labels: Bill Lerach, kickbacks, Milberg Weiss
Milberg's David Bershad Pleads Guilty on Kickback Charges
Fortune's Legal Pad
has links out to the David Bershad plea agreement, along with a statement of fact and other supporting information. Go read it.
I'll wait. Done?
Great, now go check out Parloff's follow-up post
. Hot water, getting hotter - all around.
Labels: bribery, David Bershad, indictment, Milberg Weiss
Milberg's Schulman Continues to Battle Charges Against Him
Formerly a name partner at embattled plaintiff firm, Milberg Weiss, David Bershad has plead guilty on conspiracy charges
stemming from the Justice Department's seven year long investigation into business practices at his former firm.
Word on the street for the last few weeks had been that Bershad had started dealing
and that a plea deal was imminent. Coincidentally or not, this talk of a Bershad cutting a plea occurred simultaneously with the leak about Bill Lerach's planned retirement.
Whatever the other undisclosed terms of Bershad's deal might be, we know that Bershad will forfeit $7.5 million, pay a $250,000 fine and - most importantly - cooperate with prosecutors in their ongoing investigation.
The Feds are still working on landing the big fish - Bill Lerach and Melvyn Weiss. This move by Bershad definitely puts the hooks a bit closer than they were just a week ago.
Labels: Bill Lerach, David Bershad, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss
Lerach and Weiss Turned Down Plea Agreement in Kickback Probe
Steven Schulman, one of the former Milberg Weiss partners facing charges in the ongoing probe of the firm, continues to pursue the dismissal of charges against him. While his former firm talks plea deal, Schulman has expanded his motion seeking a dismissal of charges against him.
His most recent filing addresses the charge of "honest services fraud" arguing that the government's definition is vague and arbitrary. Schulman is also attempting to pick apart the charges of mail fraud and failure to perform his fiduciary duty. Whether he's successful, we'll know in time. Law.com has further details on Schulman's legal maneuverings.
Labels: class action, indictment, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, securities, Steven Schulman
Your Daily Milberg...
So says the Los Angeles Daily Journal. Reportedly Melvyn Weiss and Bill Lerach, the federal government's two biggest targets in their kickback probe of Milberg Weiss lit igation practices, both turned down a potential plea agreement that would have seen them each serve three to four years in prison. For further details, start with this post from CNNMoney's Roger Parloff
and from there you can get to the original article.
Labels: Bill Lerach, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss, securities
Lerach Retirement - The Speculation Continues
You know you want it...
WSJ's Peter Lattman shines some light on David Bershad
, former Milberg partner who held the firm's purse strings. Bershad has been facing an indictment but has recently made a deal with prosecutors, touching off specualtion about exactly what sort of information he might be sharing with them about his former associates.Larry Ribstein at Ideopblog ponders the Ironies of Lerach
. Worth mentioning if only for the reference to Mr. Lerach's hair as daunting
. From seeing it in person (in a mall parking lot in Honolulu - yes, I have seen Lerach in flip-flops.) I would have gone with hypnotizing
, but daunting fits too. I don't often see eye to eye with Ideoblog, but Ribstein's punditry is to be reckoned with. Daunting, even.
Also from the WSJ, the SEC will apparently side with shareholders
when it comes to the legitimacy of filing suit against third parties for the actions of the shareholders' company. While the issue arose from an unrelated case, the apparent outcome is sure to help Lerach Coughlin's current case pursing compensation from investment banks on behalf of former Enron shareholders.
Labels: Bill Lerach, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
Bill Lerach Calls it Quits
The New York Times continues to ponder
what exactly we can discern from the purported retirement of famed plaintiff attorney, Bill Lerach
. The bane of the Overlawyered
set, Lerach made his name at securities class action juggernaut, Milberg Weiss. After a falling out with Milberg's founder Melvin Weiss, Lerach broke out on his own in 2004 four.
Obviously the last few months haven't been stellar for Milberg, what with partners under indictment and a firm-wide investigation ongoing into the use of kickback payments to compensate lead plaintiffs for participating in the firm's class actions. Speculation is well under way that Lerach's departure may mean that the seven year investigation into his former firm is finally catching up to him.
While no one in the know
is talking just yet, the NYT speculates that a Lerach resignation could be a signal of a looming deal with federal prosecutors, one that would spare his firm should indictments start raining down. For sure, deals are being thrown around left and right
at the moment, but none so far that seem to favor Lerach.
Last week, former Milberg partner David Bershad struck his own deal with federal prosecutors, pleading guilty to some of the charges against him. The question is, in exchange for what - and whether the second indicted Milberg partner, Steven Schulman follow suit. There is even word that Milberg Weiss is seeking a firm-wide deal
Whatever the outcome, no one is calling any of these maneuverings good
for Lerach and many are linking the dealings to talk of Lerach's retirement...and while the former partners threaten to do each other in, rival securities firms are moving in to pick up the slack
Labels: Bill Lerach, David Bershad, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss, Steven Cooperman, Steven Schulman
Milberg Weiss 1, Martha Stewart 0
William S. Lerach, one of the most famous litigators in America has called it a day. It has been reported by Fortune magazine that Lerach, the plantiff attorney most famous for representing shareholders of Enron and the mind who launched a thousand class action lawsuits is planning to leave the namesake firm
he founded only three years ago.
Lerach made is name with Milberg Weiss, another lawfirm famous for its work on behalf of aggrieved investors. What happens next for Lerach is anyone's guess - he has yet to even formerly announce his departure but speculation regarding his fate has already begun. Thusfar Lerach has remained largely untouched by the kickback scandal that has engulfed his former colleagues at Milberg Weiss.
Whether that will remain the case is no certain thing. News that indicted former Milberg partner David Bershad is considering a settlement
with federal investigators that would include a guilty plea in exchange for his cooperation does not exactly bode well for Lerach. He is certainly a big fish and federal prosecutors have spent most of the last decade trying to catch him at dirty pool.
Lerach, for his part, has long insisted that prosecutors persistent interest in him is based on politics, not perfidy...
Labels: Bill Lerach, David Bershad, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
Ideoblog Mulls the Anniversary of the Milberg Indictment
Even the most hardened tort reformers and business advocates can celebrate today! Milberg Weiss has reached a $30 million settlement
on behalf of shareholders of Martha Stewart Omnimedia. The queen of mean herself is obligated to personally pay $5 million based on the terms of the settlement.
Halelujah, y'all. Let the lion lay down with the lamb
, if only for this brief, unifying moment in time.
As you may recall, America's favorite domestic despot
was convicted in March of '04 and, due mostly to her own stubbornness, ended up serving 5 months in a minimum security prison instead of, you know, admitting she did something wrong in taking advantage of insider information in trades of ImClone stock.
Labels: insider trading, Martha Stewart, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
Typically great commentary
Better Day For Milberg, Tyco Settles for $3 Billion
from Larry Ribstein
as he considers the guv'ment's case against Milberg Weiss
one year after the indictment. The post is chock-a-block with additional links for further reading - give it a look at Ideoblog
Labels: Ideoblog, indictment, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss
Seymour Lazar, Serial Milberg Weiss Plaintiff, Angles to Avoid Indictment on Grounds of Bad Health
We've covered some of plaintiff firm, Milberg Weiss's travails
this week as it continues to struggle through an ongoing investigation into kickbacks the firm offered to repeat lead plaintiffs. But there are brighter spots for the firm, one being the recent $3 billion settlement of a class action lawsuit brought against Tyco International
Tyco is of course the famous former home of bad-boy CEO, Dennis Kozlowski. The Milberg-led class action (co-led by Schiffrin, Barroway, Topaz & Kessler) was brought in 2002 on behalf of several pension funds who suffered losses as a result of the fraud at Tyco.
Labels: class action, Dennis Kozlowski, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Schiffrin Barroway, securities, Tyco
WSJ Law Blog Q&A With Melvin Weiss
79 year old Seymour Lazar was indicted in June 2005 by federal prosecutors in hot pursuit of class action giant Milberg Weiss. Lazar was accused of receiving kickbacks from Milberg in exchange for serving repeatedly as lead plaintiff in the law firm's class action suits.
Unlike others in similarly uncomfortable positions, Lazar steadfastly refused to deal or talk. Now, as Lazar's trial is gearing up a series of hearings have been scheduled, and the first already concluded, to determine whether the ailing almost-octogenarian can reasonably withstand the rigors of the courtoom.
For further details on the Lazar trial, check out the New York Sun
In related news, former Milberg partner and one of the individuals named in the firm's "kickback" indictment, Steven Schulman, has asked that the charges against him be dismissed
. Schulman, along with former Milberg partner David Bershad faces charges including conspiracy, mail fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice and tax violation . Schulman requested the dismissal of charges based on the claim that shareholders in lawsuits where lead plaintiffs received kickbacks suffered no actual harm.
For background on all of the above shenanigans, check out the tags below, which will take you to The Daily Caveat's
past coverage of the long in coming Milberg indictment and all the colorful players it involves...
Labels: David Bershad, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, money laundering, Seymour Lazar, Steven Cooperman, Steven Schulman
Milburg Indictment Results in Meta Class Action
Peter Lattman interviews Melvin Weiss over at the WSJ Law Blog
. Weiss comments on the the Tellabs case, the Milberg indictment. Worth a look. And if you're a snarky soul, maybe check out the comments as well.
Labels: indictment, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, securities, Tellabs
Milberg Loses Class on Organogenesis Action
According to this newswire
, attorney Theodore A. Bechtold is looking for takers amongst former Milberg-led class members for a case pursuing possible violations of duties owed to them in cases led my Milberg.
This feels sort-of like when you stand between two mirrors and it creates infinity...
Labels: class action, Milberg Weiss, Milburg, securities, Theodore Bechtold
Milberg Investigation Inches Closer to Lerach With Guilty Plea From Serial Plaintiff, Steven Cooperman
Milberg Weiss recently lost out on their bid to receive class certification for a potential action against Masschusetts-based artificial skin maker, Organogenesis. Well, you win some, you lose some. But if you think this has nothing to do with the pending indictment against the firm, you'd be wrong. It looks like the once-powerhouse securities firm is going to be ice-skating uphill for the foreseeable future. From the Boston Business Journal
One of the indicted partners, Steven Schulman, signed the amended complaint in the Organogeneis case, though the firm contended that he was no longer litigating it, an assertion that U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro found "disturbing." Tauro also noted Milberg Weiss' "repeated failure" to oversee the class certification process.
Tauro noted that the firm and its partners were entitled to a presumption of innoncence, and that the firm "has a respectable record and reputation for litigating securities class actions." But he also wrote, "The court cannot ignore the fact that by virtue of the indictment, Milberg Weiss is a different firm than it once was... The indictment alone is not enough to cancel out the firm's respected history, but it is enough to make this court look carefully at lead counsel's adequacy in this case."
The judge also concluded that one of the named plaintiffs did not have standing because he did not suffer harm, and the other plaintiff couldn't serve as a suitable representative for the class because of the timing of his stock ownership.
More on the Milberg snub here
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Organogenesis
Milberg Weiss Loses Anti-Trust Team
Steven Cooperman is a colorful character. Eye doctor, art dealer bitter divorcee and serial securities litigation plaintiff for the biggest firm in the business, the embattled Milberg Weiss
. And did I mention insurance fraudster? Well that too...Convicted in 2000 of insurance fraud
via faked art theft and facing years in prison, Cooperman offered information to prosecutors about Milberg's alleged kickback payments to selected lead plaintiffs in their securities class action cases. In exchange, Cooperman was hoping for the soft touch from federal prosecutors. The deal that Cooperman struck remains under seal.
Cooperman's information on Milberg's practices was seconded by Richard Purtich, a Los Angeles insurance lawyer who claimed that he had personally been the conduit for millions in payments from Milberg to Cooperman. Cooperman, in his own divorce proceedings had himself seperately admitted taking payments from Purtich's hand.
In his divorce testimony, Cooperman also mentioned two direct meetings with Bill Lerach, the former Milberg star who has so far remained untainted by the investigation and indictment of his former firm. Cooperman claimed that on one occasion Lerach personally gave him an enevlope stuffed with $16,000 in cash.
One case in particular in which Cooperman had served as the lead plaintiff proved to be of special interest to investigators: the 1995 AHI Healthcare shareholder class action. Former Milberg partner Alan Schulman
, who has been openly hostile to the Milberg's conduct was the team leader on the AHI case. Schulman is known to be cooperating
with investigators, giving prosecutors special insight into the case.
This week Cooperman plead guilty to taking more than $6 million in illegal kickbacks
from Milberg Weiss and the 50 some odd pages of documentation filed indicates that prosecutors are closing on on Lerach. Court documents filed earlier this week make specific reference to "Partner B," the unnamed individual in the Milberg indictment long believed to be Bill Lerach, placing him at the center of the kickback scheme.
Lerach's lawyers are playing tough
, but this can't be good news. Expected, but still not good...
Labels: Bill Lerach, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, securities, Steven Cooperman
J. Douglas Richards
More Details on Lerach Lawfirm Removal from Halliburton Litigation
and Michael M. Buchman
(links go to Milberg bios, while they last) are evacuating to Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross,
the latest attorneys to jump from the Milberg ship since the kickback-related indictments were announced last year. You can read the Pomerantz press release, here
Labels: indictment, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, Pomerantz Haudek
The Daily Caveat mentioned in passing
Techdirt on Bank IPO Class Action Ruling
several days ago that Lerach Coughlin, home of the Wall Street Journal's favorite litigator, Bill Lerach, had been removed from upcoming securities fraud litigation against Halliburton. The client in that case, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Supporting Fund Inc., has since given more details
on the removal of Lerach's firm as well as co-lead counsel, David Scott of Scott + Scott, linking the switch directly to the continuing indictment against Lerach's former firm, Milberg Weiss. As was previously mentioned, DC uber-attorny David Boies has picked up the reins of the case.
Meanwhile Milberg and the plaintiff's bar in general are bracing for what some are calling the trial of the century
Labels: Bill Lerach, class action, David Boies, Halliburton, indictment, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, securites
Steven Schulman Out at Milberg
And why they think, in this case, rejection was the right
move for the courts...
What are we talking about? Well, it goes something like this... Back in a mystical time we call the dot com boom
, there were lots of shady practices from internet-based companies that had a URL, a superbowl ad and not much else in the way of prospects for success. In turn, securities class action firms experienced their own boom, filing case after case, chasing busted dot coms on behalf of their investors (and boy, as a young investigator it was fun to be in the thick of it).
Another issue arising from this era has been the allegedly questionable conduct of the Wall Street bankers behind many of these IPOs. It has been suggested that they manipulated the prices of these public offerings in order to reap great monetary benefits for themselves on the backs of myriad small investors who got caught in their double-dealing wake.
There have been some individual settlements relating to this issue, but another suit had been working its way forward, in which the most of the biggest Wall Street banks would have had their dirty laundry aired. Earlier this month, plaintiffs received a serious setback
when a Federal Appeals Court ruled that several of the 310 conglomerated cases that are part of the potentially massive class action were wrongfully given "class" status.
While this doesn't mean the case, which is being led by embattled plaintiff firm, Milberg Weiss is dead, it is a certainly substantial setback for one of the longest running class actions kicking around the courts. So why does TechDirt say this is all so much the better? Find out
Labels: class action, IPO, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, securites, Techdirt, Wall Street
Hard Times for Sonsini Continue on HP Investigation Tactics
He'll be pursing "new opportunities"
including defending himself against the criminal indictment
he's currently facing relating to kickbacks Milberg aledgedly made over the years to their lead plaintiffs who put in repeat performances. Current Milberg partner David Bershad is also under indictment on the same charges.
Labels: David Bershad, indictment, kickbacks, Milberg, Milberg Weiss
13 Firms Named in Short Seller Price Rigging Class Action
Great Law.com article
. There is some massive balancing force in the universe that sees Milberg Weiss and Wilson Sonsini (two law firms that have spent more than a fair amount of time on opposing sides of the aisle from one another) both in the legal cross-hairs at the same time.
It is weird the way the world works.
Labels: HP, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss, Patricia Dunn, Wilson Sonsini
Feds Gain Access to Expert Witness Pay Records in Milberg Trial
Amongst the twelve named: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch & Co., JPMorgan Chase, Lehman Brothers Holdings, Credit Suisse, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and others. Sounds dicey:
Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and 11 other securities firms have been accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to rig the fees charged to short sellers...
...In a class action filed in federal court New York on Dec. 1, two short sellers claimed that the 13 firms conspired to charge excessive fees for certain ``hard-to-borrow'' stocks, in violation of antitrust laws. The defendants locate, borrow and deliver stocks involved in most short sales, the complaint said.
The firms "orchestrated a massive scheme whereby they have combined and conspired to raise, fix, and maintain, at artificially inflated levels, the fees paid by plaintiffs,'' the complaint said...
...Plaintiffs Forza Capital Management LLC of Bend, Oregon, and BHL Capital Partners LP of Westport, Connecticut, who are represented by Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, are seeking unspecified damages...
Read on at Bloomberg
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss, Morgan Stanley
Milberg Trial Has a Date, New Charges Teased
Federal prosecutors gained a key victory in what appears to be a new front in their ongoing war against class action giant, Milberg Weiss. The L.A. County district court judge administering the case has ruled that investigators will be provided access to the payment records of John Torkelsen
a former expert witness for Milberg.The Daily Caveat
first hipped loyal readers to Mr. Torkelson's significance in this drama back in November '05.
Prosecutors had recently announced
that they would be expanding the scope of their investigation into Milberg's practices to include the possibility that clients may have been billed for expert work that was never actually conducted.
More at Law.com
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
FindLaw Article Takes Aim at Milberg Kickback Case and Surrounding Media Hype
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
On the other hand...Fortune Updates on the Milberg Weiss Kickback Probe
Great piece in that it digs in behind the headlines and exposes some of the recent lackluster reporting on the Milberg case
. Well worth a read
Labels: Milberg Weiss
Another High pProfile Departure from Milber Weiss
Peter Elkind may have the great title of Editor at Large
at Fortune, but does he really need to refer to Bill Lerach as Brillo Haired? Not that he's the first
or that this is even the first time for Elkind
to do so. Even a low-end, bottom feeding, new media, pro-am blogger like The Daily Caveat
doesn't make fun of peoples' hair - OK, OK..s.o I did
have a little fun at the expense of Frank Quattrone's epic moustache
Not a lot new in Elkind's piece if you've been reading this space
for any length of time, but it's been a while since we've had a juicy update in this case, so the article is worth a look
, just to remind yourself who all the players are.
And, despite the ad-homs in the Fortune article, it is worth noting that, unless I missed a biggie, Bill Lerach has yet to be charged with anything in regards to the Milberg Kickback probe.
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
How Fares Milberg?
It has been a few weeks since we've gotten any new skinny on the progress of the Milberg Weiss kickback case
. But while we in the peanut gallery wait for the trial-related fireworks to begin, not all of Milberg's top guns are hanging in. Case in point: Patricia M. Hynes
, who has announced
she is leaving Milberg to join Allen & Overy
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
Meanwhile, With Milberg Twisting in the Wind, It is an Interesting Time to be Bill Lerach
The securities plaintiff giant has apparently been slowing down
since the firm's recent indictment
. Fewer cases are being filed and the firm has shrunk by 50 some odd folks, which means they'll need to amend the boilerplate on their press releases
Labels: Milberg Weiss
Delaware Court Gets in on Milberg Disciplinary Action
The Milbeg indictment was no doubt quite a come-down for Bill Lerach, who was coming off collecting billions of settment dollars for clients in Enron-related litiga tion - what must surely be one of the highlights of his career as perhaps the most prominent securities plaintiff attorney in the country. Prosecutors have been somewhat transparently trying to nail Learch's former partner and Milberg patriarch, Melvyn Weis, so one has to wonder whether Learch feels the hot breath on the back of his own neck. According to friends quoted in the L.A. Times, not so much
Labels: Enron, Milberg Weiss
Full Details on the Milberg Court Date, From The New York Sun
The Delaware Supreme Court is investigating alleged misconduct by lawyers from embattled plaintiff's firm Milberg Weiss. Milberg, for its part has "welcomed the inquiry in Delaware." Nonetheless, with Stephen Schulman and David Bershad both out on bail in relation to charges stemming from the ongoing California action and federal investigators still looking for justification to indict other top brass, things continue to look dim for Milberg.
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
Milberg Attorneys Plead Not Guilty on 20 Count Indictment
And the details are colorful
, as in orange
In Novel-Like Scene, Two Milberg Partners Plead Not Guilty
By Josh Gerstein
Sew York Sun
July 18, 2006
One of the nation's leading class action law firms, Milberg Weiss, and two of its name partners, David Bershad and Steven Schulman, pleaded not guilty here yesterday to a federal indictment charging the firm and the two attorneys with conspiring to make secret and illegal payments to plaintiffs.
Messrs. Bershad and Schulman each said, "Not guilty," when asked for their responses to the charges during a morning appearance before a federal magistrate, Carolyn Turchin. The plea for the firm, Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP, was entered by a Los Angeles defense attorney, Bryan Daly.
In a scene torn from a Scott Turow novel, the Milberg Weiss attorneys shared the busy Monday arraignment courtroom with defendants known by aliases such as Destructo and Mainline.
Messrs. Bershad and Schulman have been free since their indictment, but most of the 20 or so defendants in other cases were clad in orange or turquoise jail smocks and looked on anxiously from behind a glass partition. The clanging of shackles as the men shuffled in and out added an air of gravity to the proceedings.
If convicted on all charges, Messrs. Bershad and Schulman face possible sentences of up to 60 years in prison, though under federal guidelines any sentences are likely to be substantially shorter. Milberg Weiss faces possible seizure of up to $216.1 million, the amount of legal fees the firm was awarded in cases in which the government contends the lawyers committed fraud.
During the 15-minute session before Magistrate Turchin, Messrs. Bershad and Schulman said little, giving one-word answers to questions about whether they understood their rights and had received copies of the indictment...
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
More on the Milberg Indictment...Professional Plaintiff's Good for The System?
kickback probe continues, this time court-side. Milberg partners, currently on leave, David J. Bershad
and Steven G. Schulman
both made their first appearance in an L.A. court room on Friday. Each was released on $1million bail and scheduled to appear on Monday to enter their respective pleas. Details follow on yesterday's L.A. court proceedings from The Mercury News
. The article is also a decent summary of the happenings to date in the Milberg kickback probe:
Law firm, partners, plead not guilty to federal charges in LA
July 17, 2006
A top class-action law firm and two of its partners pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of secretly paying more than $11 million in kickbacks to get people to take part in shareholder lawsuits. Also pleading not guilty in federal court were Seymour M. Lazar, who is accused of acting as a paid plaintiff in some of the firm's cases, and Paul T. Selzer, who is charged with laundering money on Lazar's behalf.
In a 20-count indictment handed down in May, prosecutors alleged that Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, along with partners David J. Bershad and Steven G. Schulman, secretly paid Lazar and others since 1984 to act as plaintiffs in class-action suits against major corporations.
Federal prosecutors alleged that secret kickback arrangements allowed the firm to be among the first to file lawsuits on behalf of shareholders and secure the lucrative position as lead plaintiffs' counsel. The indictment also alleged that "the paid plaintiffs purchased the securities at issue anticipating that the securities would decline in value, in order to position themselves to be named plaintiffs in securities fraud class actions and to obtain kickbacks" from the firm and others.
All the individual defendants were in court to enter their pleas except Lazar, who was unable to attend for medical reasons. Bershad and Schulman are on leave from the firm.
The case, which is the result of an ongoing federal investigation, has already resulted in plea deals with two people allegedly involved in the payoff schemes. Retired real estate mortgage broker Howard Vogel agreed in April to plead guilty to one count of making a false declaration before a court and admitted to receiving $2.5 million in kickbacks from Milberg Weiss in connection with class actions in which he was the plaintiff.
Los Angeles attorney Richard Purtich agreed in May to plead guilty to a federal tax offense by acting as an intermediary through which Milberg Weiss paid his former client Steven G. Cooperman more than $2.5 million in fees for acting as plaintiff in several class actions.
The firm denies any wrongdoing. In a statements released after Monday's arraignment, Bershad's attorney, Robert Luskin, said the indictment "is a disgrace and the charges are utterly baseless," and the firm said it is "confident that we will be fully vindicated"...
Read the full Mercury News article here
. And if needbe, catch up on the story by reading some of our past coverage
Labels: David Bershad, Howard Vogel, hulman, kickbacks, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss, money laundering, Steven Cooperman
The Milberg Indictment
at Securities Litigation Watch
has thoughts on this subject, and responds here to the going debate
between Milberg's counsel, William Taylor
of Zuckerman Spaeder and professor John C. Coffee
of Columbia Law School. Coffee authored a recent editorial in the National Law Journal critical of Milberg, which touched off the tete-a-tete
All of the above should be required reading for those of you following the years long Milberg's investigation
Labels: Milberg Weiss
Chicago Lawyer The Latest to Face Scrutiny Over Connection to Milberg Securities Cases
Political? If the American Enterprise Institute
is involved...surely not. Perish the thought. However, it should be noted - that which is politically motived can, in fact, expose that which is illegal. Time will tell.
Labels: Milberg Weiss
Milberg Weiss Kickback Probe Turning to Melvyn Weiss Himself? Will Bill Lerach Be Far Behind?
it was Denver, Colorado's Gary Lozlow. This week it is William Cavanagh of the Springfield, Illinois law firm Cavanagh & O'Hara who has come under scrutiny for his role in several cases involving the embattled plaintiffs' firm
, Milberg Weiss. Milberg is currently under indictment in relation to charges that the firm paid kickbacks to individuals in exchange for their serving as leap plaintiffs in the firm's class action securities litigation.
While none of the charges in the Milberg indictment stem from cases that involved Cavanagh's firm, prosecutors have cast an increasingly wide (and some have alleged, politically motivated) net. Cavanagh's activities have come into question because he acted concurrently as a consultant to Milberg whilse simultaneously serving as General Counsel for the Illinois Central Laborers' Pension Fund
, a post he has held for 16 years.
. And still more, here
Labels: Gary Weiss, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
Congressional Democrats Come to Defense of Milberg Weiss
Thusfar bossman Melvyn Weiss has bee in the clear of the government's investigation of alleged illegal kickbacks made by Milberg Weiss to individuals in exchange for their re-occuring role as lead plaintiffs in the firm's securities class actions. Both Weiss and former partner Bill Lerach had reportedly been told by feds that neither was in the crosshairs of the ongoing investigation. Recent reports would indicate that the situation has changed.The National Law Journal is reporting that
in a 2003 meeting with Denver lawyer was Gary Lozow, of Isaacson Rosenbaum, Melvyn Weiss offered Lozow agreed that a percentage of attorney fees in two cases would find their way to Howard Vogel, a figure well known
to those who have been following the kickback investigation. Lozow is currently cooperating with prosecutors and provides what investigators have long sought, a potential direct link between Weiss and the alleged kickbacks.
Labels: Gary Weiss, Howard Vogel, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
As Milberg Prosecution Gathers Momentum, Payments to Expert Witness Revisited
Good news is in somewhat short supply for Milberg
these days. This'll have to do...
US Congress slams Milberg Weiss indictment
June 14, 2006
Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, the US plaintiffs’ firm recently indicted for alleged referral fees, has picked up a powerful ally in the shape of the US Congress. Congress issued a statement slamming the US Department of Justice’s actions in indicting Milberg Weiss.
Signed by four Democrat Congressmen - Charles Rangel, Carolyn McCarthy, Gary Ackerman and Robert Wexler - the statement says: “The unprecedented recent indictment of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman is a very thinly veiled attempt by the Bush Administration to accomplish by bullying and intimidation what it has not been able to do by law - to end class-action lawsuits, one of the few tools remaining to safeguard the American consumer.”
The statement comes almost a month after Milberg Weiss and name partners David Bershad and Steven Schulman were indicted by Los Angeles federal prosecutors for allegedly paying referral fees to named plaintiffs in shareholder lawsuits.
For the record, both Melvyn Weiss and Bill Lerach have long said that the government's years-long investigation into their conduct has been politically motivated... The original Lawyer
article appears here
Labels: Department of Justice, Gary Weiss, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
The Daily Caveat
Partners, Clients Bailing Out at Milberg?
first wrote last November
about the government's interest in Milberg Weiss regular expert witness, John Torkelson. Torkelson, a former investment banker, has been facing civil charges from the U.S. Small Business Association since 2004 in relation to a venture capital fund run by he and his wife which the Torkelsons allegedly used to swipe millions from federal government coffers.
As of September '05 Mr. Torkelson was also facing a criminal charge of making false statements to the SBA and, the world on the street was, a plea deal was in the offing provided, of course, that Mr. T offered up his knowledge on the kickbacks Milberg Weiss was alledgedly paying to lead plaintiffs in the law firm's securities class action cases.
According to the Wall Street Journal
(subscrip required), in addition to the indictments that have been handed down
in recent days against Milberg, interest in Torkelson's information, and what he, himself may or may not have been paid by Milberg Weiss is on the front burner for federal prosecutors.
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
The Other Shoe Drops - After Years of Investigation, Plaintiff Firm Milberg Weiss Faces Indictment
With several partners under investigation, current clients deserting
and former clients
providing continued ammunition to the ongoing Federal investigation into illegal kickbacks, questions about the survival of superstar securities litigation firm, Milberg Weiss, loom large.
And if Milberg implodes...who will pick up the torch
? The frontrunners are already applying.
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
The Daily Caveat
Milberg Partners Take Leave of Absence in Response to Kickback Probe
has been following this story for as long as this blog has been around. Government investigators have been probing noted securities plaintiff firm Milber Weiss for more than five years now looking for improprieties in the way the firm handles the management of the large class action cases that often fall under its care. To a lesser extent, also in the cross-hairs was Bill Lerach, a former Milberg partner who, after a falling out with Milberg top-dog Melvyn Weiss, opted to leave the firm has open up his own shop.
Things really started to heat up in the seemingly aimless investigation last summer with the indictment of two Palm Springs, California attorneys
who alledgedly participated in a scheme of kickback payments from Milberg to individuals serving as lead plaintiffs for the firm. Seymour Lazar, a movie industry lawyer who once dated Maya Angelou was indicted on charges of receiving kickbacks from Milberg Weiss and Paul Selzer, a real estate lawyer was accused of helping to launder the payments. In the indictment against Lazar and Selzer, as much as $44 million alledgely passed through their hands in illegal kickbacks from Milberg Weiss.
The roots of the Lazar indictment lie in part with art dealer and convicted insurance fraudster, Steven Cooperman
. Cooperman was in seven kinds of legal trouble and facing a ten-year sentence when he offered federal prosecutor inside knowledge on Milberg's practices based on his own experience serving some 60 times as a lead plaintiff for the firm. A great deal of information was also gleaned from the briefs filed in Cooperman's nasty divorce. According to testimony by Cooperman in the divorce case, between 1988 and 1997 he received about $5 million from his arrangement with Milberg Weiss.
While Lazar has all along fought the charges against him and refused to roll on Milberg, another former lead plaintiff, Howard J. Vogel, signed a plea deal with prosecutors and, in exchange for avoiding prosecution himself, has offered up his knowledge of the firm. Vogel and members of his family have served as plaintiffs as many as 40 Milberg receiving approximately $2.5 million in illegal kickbacks.
Subsequently we also learned that former Milberg partner, Alan Schulman, who is now a partner at rival firm, Bernstein Litowitz cooperated with the California Grand Jury
investigating Milber Weiss. There was apparently no love lost between Schulman and his former firm, and he was all too happy to dish on what he saw as imappropriate tactics used by his former employer.
Midweek-last week saw two Milberg executive partners take a not expected leave of absence
. David Bershad and Steven Schulman, both of whom had been courteously informed a few months back that they should keep their dancecards open for the Feds, departed Milberg for the time being to face pending indictments against each of them in relation to the kickback investigation.
The question is, will they have a firm to return to?
Before The Daily Caveat
could even get a weekend to catch its breath the California Grand Jury handed down a 20-count indictment
against Milberg Weiss based on allegations that, from 1981 to 2005 , in the course of their management of plaintiff class action cases, the firm paid kickbacks to lead plaintiffs and other facillitators. Clearly for Milberg and the prosecutors who have been giving chase for the last several years, the past is prologue and the real story has only just begun.
Labels: Bernstein Litowitz and Berger, Howard Vogel, HP, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss
Plea Deal For Former Lead Plaintiff on Milberg Kickback Charges
From the TimesDaily.com
...The departures of David Bershad and Steven Schulman were announced Monday by Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach.
The U.S. Justice Department has been investigating the firm for nearly six years. The case is currently before a federal grand jury in Los Angeles.
In a memo circulated to firm employees Tuesday, Bershad said his decision to leave was mutually agreed upon with the company's management and that he would be available at its request to represent clients.
"I am taking this step in the belief that my action will improve the firm's chances to avoid unfounded charges that would be detrimental," said Bershad, who joined the firm nearly 40 years ago...
Labels: Department of Justice, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
Milberg Indictments Still Sought in Kickback Investigation
Last Friday saw the first guilty plea in the long-running kickback investigation of noted securities plaintiff firms Milberg Weiss and Lerach Coughlin. Howard Vogel, a former Milberg plaintiff has attested that he took $2.5 million in kickback money in exchange for acting as lead plantiff in a Milberg-run lawsuit.
Vogel has named several current and former Milberg partners as his points of contact, and while none are specifically named in the current indictment, they have been identified in media reports as: David Bershad, Steven Schulman and Robert Sugarman. Looks like this simmering investigation is just about ready to boil over. Comments are expected from Milberg in the near future. Lerach's firm, for its part seems to be getting a pass for the time being.
Many, many more details here
. And for some history try some of our past coverage
Labels: Howard Vogel, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
Federal Prosecutors To Come Calling on Milberg Partners?
Six-years into their far-reaching investigation, federal prosecutors insist that indictments are still forthcomings. It is uncetain whether Milber Weiss itself will face indictment, but two attorneys at the firm, Steven Schulman and David Bershad, a named partner, are apparently expecting personal indictments. At issue are payments, potential kickbacks, to real estate broker and former lead plaintiff, Howard Vogel.
Schulman was the lead attorney on the Vogel case and Bershad is the firm partner tasked with cash-flow responsibilities. Milberg reps, including Schulman and Bershad have been meeting with federal regulators in an effort to head off the potential indictments.
And for more on the history of the investigation, try here
Labels: Howard Vogel, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
Not so Fast...Milberg Indictments Still Pending on Kickback Charges?
Early last week the word on the street
was that neither Welvyn Weiss or Bill Lerach need to worry about the possibility of federal charges stemming from the government's years-long probe into an alledged kickback scheme orchestrated by noted plaintiff firms Milberg Weiss and Lerach Law (and of course for those keeping score Lerach was a former, and quite famous, partner at Milberg Weiss).
However, by Thursday Bloomberg reported
that while Weiss and Lerach can sleep easy, two Milberg attorneys remain under the gun. Steven Schulman and David Bershad, both partners in New York's Milberg have apparently been informed by prosecutors that they can expect charges within weeks, alledging that were part of a scheme to funnell kickbacks to clients.
Two other lawyers, Seymour Lazar and Paul Selzer have previously been indicted
. Lazar was a frequent lead plaintiff in Milberg cases and has been alledged to have received kickback payments. Selzer has been accused of helping launder the alledged payments.
The New York Sun
has an updated with the latest details in this continuing story and reports that RICO charges against Milberg itself may also be pending:
U.S. Readies Case Against Tort Lawyers
BY JOSH GERSTEIN
Staff Reporter of the Sun
February 24, 2006
Federal prosecutors have told two partners at a leading New York class-action law firm to prepare to be indicted on charges stemming from an investigation into alleged illegal payments to plaintiffs in securities lawsuits, a lawyer involved in the case said yesterday.
Facing indictment are David Bershad and Steven Schulman of Milberg Weiss Bershad Schulman LLP, according to an attorney for Mr. Schulman, Edward Hayes. He said he was informed that criminal charges could also be brought against the firm itself. "They're talking about a Rico case against the firm," Mr. Hayes said, referring to the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act.
A spokeswoman for Milberg Weiss declined to comment yesterday, but an attorney for the firm told the Wall Street Journal this week that the firm had not been advised that an indictment was forthcoming...
...An indictment of the Milberg Weiss firm could jeopardize its viability, regardless of whether the government ultimately wins a plea or conviction. "They do so much work that requires them to be appointed as lead counsel acting in the public interest by a court. It would be a mess," a lawyer for Mr. Selzer, David Weichert, said.
Papers filed in connection with the criminal case pending in Los Angeles suggest that payments from Milberg Weiss did end up benefiting Mr. Lazar. One question key to the prosecution is who, if anyone, at Milberg Weiss, knew that Mr. Lazar was getting some of the legal fees paid to Mr. Selzer. "My clients say what went on, if it went on, was not their business," Mr. Hayes said. "To what extent are our people obligated to supervise people on the other side of the table? That's a debatable issue"...
...The indictment filed last year says repeatedly that the payments that allegedly flowed to Mr. Lazar were illegal. However, several lawyers with no ties to the prosecution said yesterday that they were not confident in the truth of that assertion, which is central to the prosecution.
A Philadelphia attorney who has written treatises on legal ethics, Lawrence Fox, said that sharing a referral fee with a client violates legal canons but is not, per se, a violation of the law. "That rule is simply a rule of discipline. It does not have any criminal implications," he said.
The indictment argues that Mr. Lazar committed fraud and obstructed justice by failing to disclose to courts hearing the securities lawsuits the fact that he was to be paid money out of the legal fees in the cases. Mr. Fox said if that took place lawyers involved in the cases may have violated ethical precepts. "I'd again say it's more of a disciplinary problem," he said. "I don't get anywhere criminal there"...
We shall see what transpires. Check out the full NY Sun piece here
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
The PSLRA Nugget (You should read it...)
The latest...from Bloomberg
Milberg Weiss Partners to Be Indicted Within Month, Lawyer Says
Feb. 23, 2006
By Jef Feeley
Steven Schulman and David Bershad, partners in New York's Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, were told by prosecutors that they will be indicted within the next month on charges they participated in a scheme to pay kickbacks to clients, Schulman's lawyer said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Robinson told Schulman and Bershad on Feb. 20 that they are facing indictment on wire fraud and money laundering charges over the fees, according to Edward Hayes, who represents Schulman in a federal criminal probe over the payments. Robinson told the two men they could be indicted in the next 30 days, Hayes said in an interview yesterday.
A lawyer for Melvyn Weiss, the firm's lead partner, said Feb. 21 that prosecutors told Weiss and William Lerach, Weiss's former partner, that there are no plans to charge them in the five-year probe of possible kickbacks. The two men run firms that accounted for 57 percent of securities fraud settlements last year, according to a Cornerstone Research survey.
"Mr. Schulman absolutely denies he was involved in any kickback scheme and that any referral fees involved in his cases were 100 percent legitimate,'' Hayes said. Neither Bershad, a founding member of Milberg Weiss, nor his attorney, Andrew Lawler, were immediately available yesterday to comment on Hayes's statements. Tom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, which has been conducting the investigation, declined to comment on "any aspect'' of the investigation.
Federal prosecutors have been investigating claims that Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, the biggest firm representing shareholders in securities fraud cases before it split in two in 2004, illegally paid shareholders to file the suits. At the time of the breakup, Milberg Weiss had represented clients in half of all securities class actions filed in the past decade. The firm took part in suits that paid clients $30 billion in settlements.
Hayes said prosecutors allege Schulman knew about a scheme to pay referral fees to lawyers who sent them clients with securities-fraud claims. Some of the fees allegedly later made their way to the clients, he added. "The government contends there are millions in fees'' at issue in the case, Hayes said.
Schulman will be charged with fraud over allegedly knowing about the fee scheme and not taking steps to stop it, Hayes said. He'll face money laundering charges because he knew some lawyers were reportedly helping plaintiffs hide the source of money they received from the fees, Hayes said.
A referral fee is paid from one firm to another for referring a client and splitting up the work, said George M. Cohen, a law professor and legal ethics teacher at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. "In many cases, it's not really a huge issue,'' Cohen said, though problems may arise if such fees are used by "lawyers who are less competent and can't get business in a legitimate way.'' "Basically, the rules say you can have some kind of referral fee as long as both lawyers are contributing to the representation or they agree to a joint representation,'' Cohen said. "Then it's OK, as long as the client understands that this is what's going on.''
The Milberg case may be a little different, and the claim "is that they were making payments to a named plaintiff in various class actions, that he was getting extra payments to bring the claims in class actions,'' Cohen said. "The argument is that if the person is paid extra for serving in that capacity, they may not necessarily act in the best interests of the class, but may act in the best interest of themselves or the law firm.''
Investigators are relying on accusations made by two former Milberg partners about the kickback scheme, Hayes said. "We don't believe these individuals have any legitimate proof of any wrongdoing,'' Hayes said. "Every document they've pointed to is inconsistent with the allegations'' over the fees, he said.
Hayes added the charges are an attempt to pressure Schulman and Bershad into cooperating with prosecutors in their continuing investigation of Weiss's and Lerach's actions. Lerach now leads San Diego-based Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins. Weiss leads New York-based Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman.
Before 1995, law firms that were the first to file suits against companies whose stock declined often received most of the legal fees when the cases were settled. A change in the law that year gave control of shareholder suits to firms that represent the biggest shareholders.
On Milberg Weiss's Web site, Bershad is listed as a securities and commercial litigator. The site said he has negotiated "more than 100 complex class-action settlements,'' including cases against Lucent and Rite Aid that brought in a total of $900 million for investors. Schulman also is listed as a securities fraud litigator on the site and recently represented Disney investors seeking to recoup former company President Michael Ovitz's $140 million severance.
Two other men already have been indicted in connection with the federal investigation of referral fees among securities lawyers. Paul T. Selzer, a California lawyer, and Seymour Lazar, a retired attorney, have been charged with money laundering in connection with the alleged kickback scheme. Selzer is accused of helping to funnel illegal payments to Lazar, who served as lead plaintiff in securities fraud cases. Selzer allegedly used referral payments made to him by Milberg Weiss to settle Lazar's legal bills with his firm and to make political contributions on his behalf.
The original article appears here
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss, money laundering
Breaking News - Feds Will Not Seek Charges Against Melvyn Weiss or Bill Lerach in Lawsuit Kickback Probe
If you'd prefer to read about securities litigation from more of an in-the-courtroom perspective that we generally approach things at The Daily Caveat
you could do a lot worse than to make a daily stop at attorney Christopher Jones's PSLRA Nugget
. Mr. Jones is a Florida-based partner at Milberg Weiss
, the noted plaintiffs' firm.
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
Seymour Lazar Release from House Arrest, Still to Face Trial on Class Action Payments
This is big news:
U.S. won't indict high-profile lawyers
February 21, 2006
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Federal prosecutors have decided not to seek charges against class-action lawyer William Lerach and his former partner, people familiar with the investigation said Tuesday. Lerach and Melvyn Weiss, former partners who had a bitter falling out in 2004, were told Friday that they would not be prosecuted in connection with a five-year investigation into whether they paid kickbacks to people who served again and again as the lead plaintiffs in shareholder lawsuits, some which date to the 1980s.
It is unclear whether Weiss' law firm, Milberg, Weiss, Bershad & Schulman, or other partners will be indicted, the people said on condition of anonymity because the Justice Department has not made any public comment about the lawyers.
Lawyers for Lerach and Weiss did not immediately comment Tuesday.
Retired lawyer Seymour Lazar was indicted in June, accused of accepting kickbacks from Milberg, Weiss in exchange for serving as plaintiff, or getting others to serve, in more than 50 suits. Paul Selzer, Lazar's lawyer, also was indicted on charges he laundered the payments to Lazar.
The original article appears here
Labels: Department of Justice, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
1995 AHI Healthcare Shareholder Lawsuit Key in Milberg Investigation?
Lazar, the named plaintiff in many of the securities class action cases brought by prominent plaintiff firm Milber Weiss has been under investigation for some time for alledgedly taking kickbacks from the law firm in exchange for his role in their cases.
Lazar, 78, is still awaiting trial, but has won his freedom from the house arrest to which he had been confined for months. Check out this New York Sun article for the full and up-to-date details on the status of California prosecutors' case against Milberg Weiss and former Milberg attorney Bill Lerach.
Via the New York Sun:
Man Faces Trial for Taking Payments To Serve as Class Action Suit Plaintiff
By Josh Gerstein
Staff Reporter of the Sun
New York Sun
January 13, 2006
A man awaiting trial on charges that he received illegal payments for serving as a plaintiff in more than a dozen class action securities lawsuits was released from house arrest yesterday by a federal judge.
During a hearing in federal court, Seymour Lazar, 78, sat in a wheelchair at the defense table, as his lawyers argued that his age and ill health made the home confinement unnecessary and cruel.
In court papers, Mr. Lazar's attorney, Thomas Bienert Jr., wrote that forcing Mr. Lazar to stay at home pending trial was "likely the equivalent of a life sentence."
Mr. Lazar and his longtime personal attorney, Paul Selzer, were charged in June with operating an illegal scheme under which Mr. Lazar received more than $44 million in exchange for serving as a named plaintiff in class action lawsuits, and for arranging for his family members to bring such suits. The indictment refers to a "New York law firm" that paid Mr. Lazar "millions of dollars in secret and illegal kickbacks through various intermediary law firms and lawyers."
The prosecution has drawn close attention in legal circles because the "New York law firm" was one of the most successful and most feared firms in the class action plaintiffs' bar, Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes & Lerach. In 2004, the firm split up. Most of the East Coast lawyers stayed on at a firm that kept most of the Milberg Weiss name and is headed by a legendary trial lawyer, Melvyn Weiss. The West Coast attorneys formed a new firm, Lerach, Coughlin, Stoia, Geller, Rudman & Robbins, under the direction of a renowned plaintiff's lawyer, William Lerach.
Mr. Lerach and others involved with Milberg Weiss have acknowledged that a grand jury was investigating the firm. However, no charges related to the alleged kickback scheme have been filed publicly against anyone other than Messrs. Lazar and Selzer.
Prosecutors, who have been investigating the case for several years, reportedly have testimony from insiders at Milberg Weiss about how the alleged kickbacks were paid, but little or none of that evidence has been made public. However, late last month, prosecutors filed a memorandum with the court indicating that a colleague of Mr. Selzer had concerns about the financial arrangement with Mr. Lazar as early as 1994.
The memo from the law firm where Mr. Selzer was a partner at the time, Best, Best & Krieger of Southern California, said that Mr. Lazar wanted fees a class action law firm in New York was paying to Mr. Selzer's firm used to offset Mr. Lazar's other legal bills at the firm. In some instances, Mr. Lazar wanted the California firm to make car lease payments or charitable donations at his direction. Under the law, law firms can receive referral fees but cannot share them with clients.
"We have indicated to him on several occasions our concern over participating in some type of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service or to otherwise violate the laws prohibiting plaintiffs in class actions from receiving fee splits," the February 9, 1994, memo said. "To us it just smells bad, and probably would to an investigator."
The name of the author of the two page memo, addressed to the "file," was blacked out from the copy the government filed with the court. Mr. Selzer left Best, Best & Krieger in 1995. Lawyers at the firm did not return calls seeking comment yesterday. Earlier this month, a partner at the firm told a legal newspaper, the Recorder, that the firm was neither a subject nor a target of the government's probe.
Mr. Bienert, Mr. Lazar's criminal attorney, said after yesterday's court hearing that the 1994 memo supports his client's defense. "It's significant because it shows Best, Best & Krieger, who are not charged in this case were giving consideration to the legal ramifications of what could and could not be done with this money," Mr. Bienert said.
Mr. Bienert said he would argue that Mr. Lazar had advice from many attorneys that the financial arrangements were legal and he also assumed prestigious lawyers would not take part if the financial dealings broke the law. "There are going to be many, many lawyers who figure into this and I suspect that the government will not accuse them of committing any crime," the defense lawyer said. "That is a huge issue at trial."
In the legal community, there have been years of speculation that the government wanted Mr. Lazar or Mr. Selzer to make a deal with prosecutors and testify against top lawyers at Milberg Weiss. So far, there is no sign that either man will do so.
One problem for the government is that Mr. Lazar is so old and infirm that prosecutors lack the leverage over him that they have over most defendants. According to court filings, the retired entertainment lawyer suffers from congestive heart failure, diabetes, lymphoma, and at least half a dozen other serious health problems.
For a time last summer, Mr. Lazar was required by the court to wear an anklet that was linked to a satellite and would inform authorities if he ventured out. However, in August, the device was removed so Mr. Lazar could undergo openheart surgery.
A trial date is set in April, but Mr. Bienert told reporters yesterday that he doubted Mr.Lazar will be up to it. "There will be a serious issue of how able Mr. Lazar is to actively participate and sit through a trial," the defense lawyer said.
During the hearing, Judge Dean Pregerson seemed irked that the two sides could not work out the conditions of Mr. Lazar's pre-trial release. The judge noted that Mr. Lazar was already essentially on his honor not to leave home. "He could leave if he really wanted to anyway," the judge said.
In exchange for lifting the home confinement, Judge Pregerson doubled Mr. Lazar's bond from $5 million to $10 million. A prosecutor, Robert McGahan, said Mr. Lazar owns between $45 million and $60 million in property. The prosecution has accused Mr. Lazar of not disclosing all of his assets and of refusing to repatriate money he sent abroad.
Prosecutors also argued to Judge Pregerson yesterday that Mr. Bienert has a conflict of interest because he represented both Messrs. Lazar and Selzer earlier in the probe. The judge said Mr. Lazar has the right to choose his lawyers, as long as he understands the potential conflict.
Mr. Lazar, who used special headphones due to a hearing impairment, said somewhat cantankerously that he knew what he was doing. "Can I point out that I was a lawyer for 30 years or 40 years, a practicing lawyer?" he told the judge. "I'm conscious of the fact that I can fire my lawyer, and can waive the conflict."
The original article appears here
Labels: Melvyn Weiss, Milberg Weiss
So, Seriously, What'd I Miss?
The AHI case appears to be a bit of a perfect storm for investigators, with several well known players in Milberg's orbit all having a role in the lawsuit. Several key participants in the case have been granted immunity including frequent Milberg lead plaintiff, Melvyn Kinder, whose attorney has acknowledged that Kinder is assisting investigators.
Other familiar names involved in the case that will ring a bell for one following the Milberg kickback probe include:
Government informant Stephen G. Cooperman was involved in bringing the case to Milberg's attention. Cooperman offered up info
on Milberg Weiss in the hopes of reducing the decade-long sentence he was facing on insurance fraud charges.Former Milberg partner Alan Schulman
(now with Bernstein Litowitz
) who since leaving Milberg has been openly hostile to the firm's conduct was the team leader on the AHI case. Schulman is known to be cooperating
Also participating in the AHI case was John B. Torkelsen, a frequent Milberg expert witness who has had his own troubles with the law. Torkelson recently received a plea deal that was though to be related to his assisting federal prosecutors
in their Milberg probe.
Check out the full LA Times article
for a closer look the various players' connections to the AHI suit and how it all effects the ongoing government investigation into Milberg Weiss's alledged improprieties.
Labels: Bernstein Litowitz and Berger, Melvyn Weiss, Milberg, Milberg Weiss
Tony and Thea did a bang up job of keeping up appearances here at TDC and I'm hoping they'll continue to offer their opinions and insight on a regular basis. Otherwise, you'll be left with nothing but my continuing paltry efforts.
Now....some recent headlines, just a few, so I feel caught up from my week in the technology-free zone:
Refco Buyers, vultures? Matthew Goldstein at TheStreet.com takes a harsh look at the firms that have been circling since Refco's collapse.
Oh and....Bennett plead not guilty.
SEC Probes Firing of Wachovia Analyst...is a bigger scandal waiting to break on this one?
Kroll UK Directors Get Fat-Cash Following Takeover.
NYSE and the NASD joining forces - A new era in self-regulation?
SEC Compliance Office Prepping Hedge Fund Inspection Bootcamp.
Volkswagon hit by claims of sex junkets....sounds uncomfortable.
Whew...not I feel like I am fully back in blogging action. Back later with some interesting news on the status of the Milberg investigation, hedge fund sleuthing and the perils of reputational risk.
Labels: Kroll, Milberg Weiss, Refco