Bill Lerach, the scourge of Corporate America and current prison inmate, was recently moved to a halfway house in San Pedro, Calif., according to a report http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE59E0K320091015 by Reuters’ Gina Keating. (Keating is one of the best law reporters in the business and broke the story of the feds’ investigation of Lerach with Lawdragon Editor John Ryan in 2003.) He was accused of bribing plaintiffs by paying them to bring shareholder lawsuits against corporations.
He pled guilty to a federal conspiracy charge in 2008 and was sent to prison in Lompoc, Calif. Because old habits die hard, he offered a prison guard his San Diego Chargers season tickets for which he was transferred to a facility in Stafford, Ariz. He was moved to the CCM Long Beach Community Corrections Office in San Pedro several months back and is slated for release March 8. He reportedly has a job at the facility and is eligible for furloughs.
In March, he wrote to The Daily Beast offering his advice on how to claw back excessive executive pay http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-03-06/how-to-shake-down-the-banks/full/. The thing about Lerach is that while he was apparently a crook whose disdain for the same rules he made billions prosecuting others for ignoring, he also possessed a truly great legal mind. Some of his former partners and others in the shareholder class action bar are no doubt going to pursue the type of strategies Lerach had in mind with a little greater appreciation for the law.
As part of his sentence, Lerach relinquished his law license.