Statement of Lisa Rickard, President of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, on today’s sentencing of William Lerach for lying to the courts and defrauding plaintiffs in securities class action cases:
“Today’s sentencing of Bill Lerach is significant not only for the relatively short prison term he’ll serve, but also for the crime he has pled guilty to – lying to the courts about a two-decades long scheme that federal prosecutors say violated his duty to plaintiffs in securities class action lawsuits.
“Beyond his admitted crime, Lerach is also guilty of using rhetoric that champions the average investor against powerful corporate interests, when in fact the effect of this kickback scheme was to cheat most class members, the very people he claimed to represent, in order to advance his own self-interest.
“The consequences of Lerach’s illegal actions were felt not only by his own clients, but also by millions of innocent investors who suffered losses in retirement accounts and other savings due to his lawsuits. All too often, the only winners in these class action lawsuits were Bill Lerach and those who conspired with him.”
The mission of the Institute for Legal Reform is to make America’s legal system simpler, fairer, and faster for everyone. It seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.