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2 sentenced in Milberg case

Times Wire Reports

Two more defendants in a secret lawsuit kickback scheme involving the former Milberg Weiss law firm were sentenced by a federal judge who said he hoped future lawyers would learn a lesson from the careers ruined.

U.S. District Judge John F. Walter in Los Angeles sent former Beverly Hills eye surgeon Steven Cooperman, 66, to prison for four months and fined him $40,000. Cooperman was the first to tell prosecutors about kickbacks the firm, now called Milberg, paid plaintiffs to file securities fraud cases.

Later, Walter sentenced former real estate lawyer Paul T. Selzer to probation for two years and ordered him to pay $250,000 in fines and perform 1,000 hours of community service. Selzer, 68, of Palm Springs pleaded guilty to a tax-related felony for laundering kickbacks to a paid plaintiff in Milberg class-action lawsuits.

Milberg, based in New York, has agreed to pay $75 million to settle charges that it secretly paid three clients more than $11 million to serve as lead plaintiffs.

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Four former Milberg partners pleaded guilty and were sentenced in the scheme.


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