…and you’ll find this:
Bill Lerach, the renowned [well, that’s one word for it] class-action attorney who won billions of dollars in securities fraud settlements, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to criminal conspiracy. He will pay $8 million and spend one or two years in prison for scheming to pay illegal kickbacks to the lead plaintiffs in some of his lawsuits.
From the Financial Times.
Lerach and his equally appalling — and increasingly equally indicted — colleagues at a quote-unquote law firm called Milberg Weiss terrorized the high-tech industry for over a decade, filing baseless lawsuit after baseless lawsuit against many public company executives for theoretical crimes for which the only evidence was a falling stock price, putatively on behalf of individual shareholders — who, it turns out, were frequently being illegally bribed by, you guessed it, Lerach and Milberg Weiss.
Lerach’s malfeasance helped create the current climate of fear and paranoia in the public equity markets that have made it so dauting for new companies to become public, which in turn raises the cost of capital for growth companies, and in turn drags on the growth of the American economy and therefore on your pocketbook.
However, I must confess that my true satisfaction about this miscreant going to meet his new friends in the federal pokey is caused by Milberg Weiss’s 2001 lawsuit against me and my former company, Loudcloud, in which Lerach alleged — I am not making this up — that we defrauded investors because the founders and board members of the company bought shares in the IPO. Yes, that’s right — since they couldn’t sue us for insider selling, their normal MO, they sued us for insider buying.