Federal Court Rejects Bid By Defense Attorneys to Move Criminal Trial of Class Action Lawyer Melvyn Weiss to New York
We have previously discussed the criminal indictment of noted class action plaintiff lawyer Melvyn Weiss, co-founder of the securities fraud class action firm formerly known as Milberg Weiss . The Los Angeles Times reports today that Judge John Walter of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Calfornia denied a motion by Weiss’s defense attorneys to move the case from Los Angeles to New York. Weiss previously announced his intention to vigorously fight the federal criminal charges of conspiracy, racketeering, obstruction of justice and making false statements under oath, arising out of his alleged payment of millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks to various individuals in return for their agreement to serve as plaintiffs in shareholder class action lawsuits. Federal prosecutors estimate that the scheme netted Weiss’s law firm more than one-quarter of a billion dollars in attorney fees. Defense attorneys expressed confidence that Weiss would be acquitted, despite the fact that others indicted in connection with this scheme – including Weiss’s former partners David Bershad and Steven Schulman, and protégé William Lerach – have pleaded guilty.
The article, entitled “Weiss kickback trial to stay in L.A., judge says,” may be found in the Business Section of the December 21, 2007 edition of the Los Angeles Times.