New York-based law firm Milberg LLP, formerly known as Milberg Weiss LLP, agreed to settle a federal lawsuit over an illegal kickback scheme for $75 million in L.A. federal court on Monday.
The plaintiff's firm was indicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles in 2006 over claims that several senior attorneys at the firm paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to individuals who served as name plaintiffs in class action and shareholder derivative lawsuits.
The U.S. Attorney's office agreed to not pursue criminal charges against the firm, but Milberg attorneys will have to work with a compliance monitor and start a best practices program at the firm for two years.
According to a statement from the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney's office, the firm admitted that several members of the firm paid secret kickbacks to plaintiffs in more than 165 lawsuits filed from the 1970s through 2005 that generated $239 million in legal fees.
Former founding partner Melvyn I. Weiss and former name partners William S. Lerach, Steven G. Schulman and David J. Bershad pleaded guilty to federal charges involving the illegal scheme. Earlier this month, Weiss was sentenced in Los Angeles to 30 months in federal prison and ordered to forfeit $9.75 million he allegedly made from the kickback scheme.
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