Denver lawyer could prove a valuable witness
By Al Lewis, Staff Columnist
Friday, September 21, 2007
A prominent Denver criminal defense lawyer may emerge as a
witness in the prosecution of the notorious securities attorney
Gary Lozow -- lawyer to the parents of Dylan Klebold after the
Columbine massacre and the Rev. Acen Phillips, who is now in the
news for alleged insurance fraud -- may know something the feds
would like to bring against Weiss.
"The government has indicated to us that Mr. Lozow might be a
witness in a trial on these matters," said Lozow's lawyer John
Walsh of Hill & Robbins.
"If he is subpoenaed, Mr. Lozow will tell the truth," said
Walsh, a former federal prosecutor.
Lozow would be testifying against one of the most reviled
lawyers in corporate America. Weiss, 72, who was indicted in
Los Angeles on Thursday, pioneered the dreaded class-action
Prosecutors say Weiss' firm, Milberg Weiss, has bagged about
$250 million in fees over the last 25 years by suing companies
for fraud on behalf of shareholders.
Unfortunately, it appears Weiss and some of his associates like
to cheat as much as the corporate thugs they sue.
Prosecutors allege that Weiss and his partners have paid people
secret kickbacks to become plaintiffs in more than 150 lawsuits
If this is true, their lead plaintiffs didn't sue for justice.
They just got paid to sign on to lawsuits -- something judges
didn't know when they decided the cases.
"The indictment outlines a decades-long kickback scheme that was
deliberately concealed from courts across the nation," said
George Cardona, the U.S. attorney for Los Angeles.
Weiss' attorney said his client will plead not guilty.
Also on Thursday, former Milberg Weiss partner Steven Schulman
agreed to plead guilty to a racketeering charge involving this
And earlier this week, Weiss' former partner, William Lerach,
agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge.
Lerach led shareholders litigation against Enron and
"I have always fought for my clients ... to hold powerful
corporations responsible when their actions harmed people,"
Lerach said in a statement. "I regrettably crossed a line and
pushed too far."
In July, Milberg Weiss partner David Bershad also agreed to a
Weiss, who has been hit with four counts of conspiracy,
racketeering, obstruction of justice and making false
statements, faces a possible 40-year prison sentence.
His attorney vows to fight: "We are confident that when the
evidence is carefully reviewed at a trial of these charges, Mr.
Weiss will be fully exonerated," Benjamin Brafman said.
Milberg Weiss, the firm, also has been charged and said it will
fight. This is where Lozow may come in handy.
Turns out one of Lozow's clients, Howard Vogel of Englewood,
N.J., and Florida, was one of Milberg Weiss' paid plaintiffs.
Last year, when Vogel pleaded guilty to one count of making a
false statement in court, federal prosecutors chalked up their
first victory in their seven-year investigation of Milberg
In his pleading, Vogel said he and his family took nearly $2.5
million in kickbacks from Milberg Weiss in exchange for being
the lead plaintiffs in 40 cases against companies including
Valero Energy Corp. and Oxford Health Plans between 1991 and
Vogel claimed that some of this money was funneled to him
through his Denver attorney. Last year, The Recorder, a legal
newspaper in California, identified the attorney as Lozow.
Lozow declined to comment.
Paul Selzer, an attorney who allegedly acted as an intermediary
for illegal kickbacks to another allegedly paid plaintiff, was
But Lozow was not.
Lozow -- regularly in the news for defending murderers and
white-collar criminals -- would seem an attractive target for
prosecutors. But he's also an attractive witness. Or perhaps
circumstances are not at all what they seem.
Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles,
declined to comment. But Walsh, Lozow's attorney, indicated
Lozow may be in the clear.
"I don't have any reason to believe that he is going to be
charged," Walsh said.
Al Lewis' column appears Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
Respond to him at
denverpostbloghouse.com/lewis, 303-954-1967 or