The law firm formerly known as Milberg Weiss Bershad Hunes & Lerach will pay $75 million to settle a criminal complaint accusing it of paying kickbacks to clients to file shareholder class actions, according to media reports. The surviving firm, now known as Milberg, will have 5 years to pay the fine, and federal prosecutors will ask the court to dismiss the indictment, The New York Times reported today.
One of the firm's founders, William Lerach, is serving 2 years in prison, and another one, Melvyn Weiss, has been sentenced to 30 months.
Prosecutors saidMilberg Weiss paid kickbacks to plaintiffs in more than 165 class action that earned the firm more than $200 million in legal fees. The law firm was a bête noire to corporations and their political supporters and beneficiaries.