After six years of wide-ranging inquiries, stop-and-go grand jury activity and peripheral indictments, L.A. federal prosecutors are close to charging two partners from the massive plaintiff firm Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman — and possibly the firm itself — with paying illegal kickbacks, said several lawyers connected to the case.

Of course, the two partners aren’t the original targets of the investigation: Melvyn Weiss and former star partner William Lerach, who left Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, along with almost all of the firm’s West Coast lawyers, to form San Diego’s Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins in 2004.

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