White Collar Crime
Ex-Milberg Partner Gets 6 Months in Class Action Kickbacks Case
Posted Oct 27, 2008 4:26 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Developing: Doubling the three months recommended by prosecutors, a federal judge today sentenced a former name partner of the New York City-based law firm now known as Milberg to half a year in prison.
David Bershad, 68, who cooperated with the government, got a six-month sentence from U.S. District Judge John Walter for the part he played in a scheme to funnel secret payments to lead plaintiffs in securities class action cases, reports the Wall Street Journal. Bershad's counsel had argued in a motion that his ill health and good deeds in the community, as well as his cooperation with prosecutors, merited probation.
Prosecutors had sought three months, followed by another three months of community confinement, Bloomberg reports. Bershad must also pay a $250,000 fine, in addition to the $7.75 million he has already forfeited.
Steven Schulman, 57, another former name partner of the law firm, is scheduled to be sentenced later today in federal court in Los Angeles.
As discussed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, former name partners Melvyn Weiss and William Lerach are already serving time for their roles in the crime. They were sentenced to 2½ and 2 years, respectively.
In a highly unusual situation, the law firm itself was also indicted, but settled the case by paying a $75 million fine.