Former San Diego securities attorney William Lerach has agreed to plead guilty to a federal conspiracy charge, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Here’s what the press release says:
Lerach, a 61-year-old resident of Rancho Santa Fe, California, was charged in a criminal information filed this morning in United States District Court with conspiring to obstruct justice and to make false statements under oath. In a plea agreement also filed this morning, Lerach agreed to plead guilty to the conspiracy charge, to forfeit $7.75 million to the government, to pay a $250,000 fine, and to accept a sentence ranging from one year to two years in federal prison.
The case against Lerach is part of an ongoing investigation that last year led to the indictment of Milberg Weiss and two of its name partners for allegedly participating in a scheme in which several individuals were paid millions of dollars in secret kickbacks in exchange for serving as named plaintiffs in more than 150 class-action and shareholder derivative-action lawsuits. The indictment alleges that the firm received well over $200 million in attorneys’ fees from these lawsuits over the past 20 years.
Here’s Lerach’s plea agreement.