Baker & McKenzie said Thursday that it had requested and received the resignation of indicted partner Martin Weisberg.
"Effective immediately, he is no longer associated with our firm in any capacity," the firm said in a statement. Weisberg was indicted last Friday in the Eastern District of New York on charges that he participated with five other defendants in a stock-fraud scheme that netted two overseas short-sellers $55 million in illegal profits.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Last week, the firm said it was putting Weisberg, who joined the firm in August 2005, on leave pending a resolution in the matter. Baker & McKenzie spokesman Joe Linklater Thursday explained that the firm's leaders, as well as Weisberg, were all in London for an annual meeting when the indictment was announced, and the situation had not been fully reviewed until the partners returned to the United States this week. After the management had reviewed the situation, he said, the firm decided Wednesday to ask for Weisberg's resignation, which he tendered Thursday.
On Tuesday, the Law Journal reported that Weisberg had previously been tried and acquitted on similar charges in a 1991 case brought by federal prosecutors in Texas. Of seven defendants charged with participating in a currency-trading Ponzi scheme, Weisberg was the only one acquitted.
Linklater declined to comment Thursday on whether the firm was aware of the earlier case. Weisberg resigned as a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius shortly before the Texas indictment. He joined Baker & McKenzie in August 2005, after the events that are the subject of the current indictment.Weisberg's lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz, said Thursday his client was now "going to devote his full efforts to defending his name and reputation." Weisberg is free on a $1.5 million personal recognizance bond secured by a $400,000 securities account.