Michael Milken issued the following statement Wednesday:
In America, an indictment marks the beginning of the legal process, not the end. After almost 2 1/2 years of leaks and distortions, I am now eager to present all the facts in an open and unbiased forum.
I will plead not guilty to the charges and vigorously fight these accusations. I am confident that in the end I will be vindicated.
I have requested a leave of absence from the firm in order to prepare for my defense. Being separated from my life’s work is an extremely difficult step. I am enormously proud of my 20 years with Drexel Burnham Lambert, and it has been an honor to work with the company’s dedicated employees. Together, we’ve been privileged to help create value for hundreds of companies and the thousands of men and women who work for them.
The pain of this investigation, and the frustration of knowing it is unwarranted, have been excruciating. The months ahead will be no less trying for my family and me. I am deeply grateful for the steadfast and overwhelming support I have received from my family and friends, and I thank them for that support.