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U.S. News

Imprisoned lawyer Lerach moves to halfway house

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - William Lerach, a lawyer best known for winning settlements for Enron investors, has been moved to a California halfway house after serving most of a two-year prison sentence for a kickback scheme, according to U.S. Bureau of Prison records.

Lerach, 63, was transferred to the facility a couple of months ago and is expected to be released on March 8, prison records said.

He began his prison term in May 2008 at a Lompoc, California, facility and was moved to Stafford, Arizona, after offering a prison guard his San Diego Chargers season tickets.

Lerach has a job at the halfway house and is eligible for furloughs, a source familiar with the situation said.

Although the normally outspoken Lerach is not granting interviews, he weighed in on clawing back excessive executive pay on the political blog “The Daily Beast” and cooperated with a book about his long career as a corporate nemesis.

Lerach pleaded guilty last year to a federal conspiracy charge in a plea deal that sent him to prison, stripped his state bar license and had him forfeit $8 million.

In the plea agreement, he admitted to scheming with several other attorneys at his former law firm, Milberg LLP, to seek out clients with large stock portfolios and pay them a percentage of legal fees in return for serving as plaintiffs in the firm’s lawsuits.

Lerach won more than $7 billion in legal settlements for Enron investors after the energy trader’s collapse.

Reporting by Gina Keating; Editing by Peter Cooney

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