Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
LOS ANGELES � A former named plaintiff for Milberg Weiss & Bershad who told federal investigators about the alleged kickback scheme now under investigation has agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge. Steve G. Cooperman will admit that he received secret payments from Milberg Weiss in order to serve as a lead plaintiff in several shareholder class actions, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, which is prosecuting the case. The plea deal is part of an investigation in which Milberg Weiss and two of its senior partners, David Bershad and Steve Schulman, were indicted on allegations that they made $216 million in attorney fees by paying $11.3 million in secret and illegal kickbacks. Schulman has since resigned and is no longer a name partner; Bershad has taken a leave of absence from the firm. Last year, another named plaintiff for Milberg Weiss, Howard Vogel, pleaded guilty to making false statements in court related to the alleged kickbacks. Milberg Weiss obtained more than $133 million in attorney fees from nearly 70 lawsuits in which Cooperman or several of his relatives and associates served as lead plaintiffs. The cases, which spanned from 1988 to 2003, allowed Cooperman to receive more than $6.4 million in kickbacks. Admits he conspired In the recent plea deal, Cooperman admitted that he conspired with the kickback scheme by falsely stating in court that he would not receive additional compensation as a named plaintiff. Instead, he received up to 5,000 times greater compensation than he would have as a class member. Milberg Weiss allegedly hid the kickbacks by paying in cash and distributing the money through other attorneys, including Richard Purtich, who pleaded guilty last year to funneling Milberg Weiss kickback payments to Cooperman. Cooperman and another attorney, James Tierney, were convicted in 1999 of insurance fraud related to art theft. Cooperman used money from the alleged Milberg Weiss kickbacks to pay Tierney. Cooperman is scheduled to make his first court appearance on April 2. In a e-mailed statement, William Taylor, a partner at Washington-based Zuckerman Spaeder representing Milberg Weiss, said “Steven Cooperman has been ‘assisting’ the government for over seven years, since shortly after his conviction for art theft and insurance fraud. For him, the reward has been dramatically reduced terms of imprisonment for serious frauds. His allegations about Milberg Weiss are not new. They have never been credible and they are no more so today.”

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.