X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
LOS ANGELES � Milberg Weiss filed five motions last week to dismiss the federal government’s kickback charges. The firm’s founding partner, Melvyn Weiss, has joined in most of the motions. Prosecutors allege that Milberg Weiss and seven of its lawyers, including Weiss, paid more than $11 million in illegal kickbacks to lead plaintiffs. In one motion, Milberg Weiss denies that the firm deliberately withheld a fax that was subpoenaed in 2002 as part of the government’s investigation. In September, prosecutors brought obstruction-of-justice charges against Milberg Weiss and Weiss, claiming they failed to provide the fax. Prosecutors also claim that Weiss lied to them about the location of the fax but later told them he discovered the document in a safe at the firm. The fax, dated more than 12 years ago, was sent to then-Milberg Weiss partner David Bershad from Steve Cooperman, a named plaintiff in several Milberg Weiss cases, and relates to an arrangement in which Weiss agreed to pay Cooperman $175,000 for having served as a plaintiff in a case. Weiss disguised the payment as a refundable option on the purchase of a Picasso painting owned by Cooperman called “Reclining Nude,” according to prosecutors. Cooperman and Bershad pleaded guilty last year. In its motion filed last week, Milberg Weiss said: “The count must be dismissed because the undisputed fact is that Mr. Weiss did produce the document to the government. The government cannot prosecute the defendants for obstructing justice by failing to produce a document that Mr. Weiss produced.” Further, the firm cannot be held liable for the actions of a partner in personal matters, Milberg Weiss adds. In separate motions, the firm disputes the government’s “honest services” mail fraud theory, noting that “the alleged scheme caused no tangible harm to any cognizable victim,” particularly class members and shareholders. Milberg Weiss also asserts that the indictment alleges a conspiracy when in fact it details separate schemes involving several different plaintiffs. And the firm disputes that it violated New York’s commercial bribery statutes or paid plaintiffs for their testimonies. The firm also disputes a money laundering count. U.S. District Judge John Walter, who is overseeing the Milberg Weiss, rejected similar motions brought by Milberg Weiss last year.

This content has been archived.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]

 
 

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.