Criminal Justice

Melvyn Weiss Pleads Not Guilty

Securities class-action lawyer Melvyn Weiss pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges he paid kickbacks to individuals to serve as lead plaintiffs.

The trial date for the Milberg Weiss founder was set for August 2008, the New York Law Journal reports. Weiss is free on $1.5 million bail.

Weiss entered his plea on the same day lawyers for one of the plaintiffs accused of taking kickbacks, Seymour Lazar, indicated their client had reached a plea deal. Others who have pleaded guilty in the alleged kickback scheme include former Milberg Weiss partners William Lerach, David Bershad and Steven Schulman.

Milberg Weiss is also under indictment. Prosecutors claim it earned some $250 million in fees in kickback cases.

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