Appearing Monday in federal court in Los Angeles, Milberg Weiss co-founder Melvyn I. Weiss pleaded not guilty to charges that he orchestrated a conspiracy to pay kickbacks to individual plaintiffs in securities class actions.

But while Weiss has pledged to clear his name, one of his few remaining co-defendants prepared to plead guilty. Lawyers for Seymour Lazar, one of the individual plaintiffs who allegedly received kickbacks from Milberg Weiss, said Monday at a status conference that their client, who entered a not guilty plea Monday morning, had reached an agreement with prosecutors.

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