Molly Selvin of the Los Angeles Times reports today that class action plaintiff lawyer Melvin Weiss has been indicted “on charges that he participated in a kickback scheme that allegedly netted millions of dollars in illicit legal fees.” The federal indictment comes on the heels of a guilty plea by class action plaintiff lawyer William Lerach, who was once a partner at Milberg Weiss, to charges of criminal conspiracy. The recent indictment added to the criminal charges filed against the law firm of Milberg Weiss and two of its named partners, Steve Schulman and David Bershad, last year. The amended federal indictment also comes on the heels of Schulman’s guilty plea to federal racketeering and conspiracy charges, Ms. Selvin reports. According to the amended indictment, Milberg Weiss paid illegal kickbacks in 225 shareholder class action lawsuits (up from the 150 class actions alleged in the original indictment) and illegally earned $250 million in attorney fees (up from $200 million).
Ms. Selvin’s article, entitled “Law firm founder indicted: Melvyn Weiss is alleged to have participated in a scheme to make secret payment to plaintiffs in class-action cases,” may be found in the Business Section of the September 21, 2007 edition of the Los Angeles Times.