OCTOBER 18, 2007
Prominent Democrats continue receiving lucrative contributions from a powerhouse New York law firm even though a partner has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and the entire firm has been federally indicted for fraud and bribery.
As one of the nationâ??s leading securities class-action law firms, Milberg Weiss employees and partners have contributed more than $7 million to Democratic candidates over the years and the firmâ??s serious legal problems have not motivated politicians to severe the financial relationship.
The money keeps pouring into Democratic war chests since last yearâ??s federal indictment against the mega firm for fraud and bribery. Prosecutors say that Milberg Weiss paid plaintiffs secret kickbacks while it collected billions of dollars in legal fees and that it also funneled campaign contributions through plaintiffs and expert witnesses in the 1990s.
Further fueling the prosecutionâ??s case is that a few months ago a former partner with extensive knowledge of the firmâ??s finances pleaded guilty to conspiracy and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution.
Evidently this is not enough of a scandal to deter Democrats from taking cash. Since the indictment dozens of Democrats nationwide have accepted $150,000 from people connected to Milberg Weiss, including four presidential candidates. Many of the contributors are partners who have either been indicted or face criminal charges.
Among them is the firmâ??s founder, Melvyn Weiss, who gave Hillary Clinton $4,600 (the maximum allowed) just a few months ago. Other prominent firm members contributed to Illinois Senator Barack Obama Joseph Biden of Delaware.
Tainted money is par for the course for Clinton who has already returned more than $1 million in shady campaign contributions this year alone. Much of it came from Chinese fugitive Norman Hsu, who had an arrest warrant while he held fundraisers and bundled cash for the New York Senator.
A wealthy Pakistani businessman, who is a fugitive on the FBIâ??s Most Wanted list, also gave Clinton hefty sums and a South Florida politician (former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez) convicted of federal corruption charges recently hosted a lucrative fundraiser at his home.
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