Milken Enlists Dershowitz in Effort to Cut Sentence

From Associated Press

He gained an acquittal for Claus von Bulow and helped win dismissal of some tax evasion charges against hotel queen Leona Helmsley. Now big-time lawyer Alan Dershowitz will aim his legal artillery at the sentence of Wall Street’s biggest white-collar felon, Michael Milken.

Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard Law School who is an aggressive appeals specialist, said Monday that he will try to reduce Milken’s prison sentence and help defend him against a rash of civil suits.

Milken was the biggest fish netted in the government’s well-publicized campaign against securities fraud begun in the late 1980s. He helped build the now-collapsed Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. investment bank into a trading powerhouse for high-risk securities known as junk bonds.


Earlier this year, Milken began serving a 10-year sentence for six securities-related felonies, most involving famed inside trader Ivan F. Boesky.

“We’re leaving no stone unturned,” said Dershowitz, who will be joined in the case by Susan Estrich, who was campaign manager for former Democratic presidential candidate Michael S. Dukakis, and a third attorney, Harvey Silvergate. Dershowitz often works with Estrich and Silvergate.

Dershowitz said the case for reducing Milken’s sentence has strengthened with a recent string of reversals of convictions against well-known Wall Streeters.