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Disbarred Former Baker & McKenzie Partner Sentenced 2 Years for Money Laundering and Conspiring Securities Fraud
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Martin Weisberg, former partner at Baker & McKenzie was found guilty and sentenced two years for conspiring to commit securities fraud as well as money laundering.  Eastern District Judge Garaufis commented that Weisberg’s actions were “calculated frauds and lies [based on] greed pure and simple” rather than a simple lapse of good judgment.

  
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Weisberg’s full sentence included “three years of supervised release, 1,000 hours of community service, a $297,500 restitution order and a $250,000 forfeiture” according to the New York Law Journal.  Weisberg commented that he was “filled with remorse, shame, contrition and humility.” He apologized and sadly commented on the loss of his law license, “it is a loss I feel bitterly [which] I deserve to feel.”

The case specified that Weisberg was accused of stealing $1.3 million. This money didn’t exist in his client’s minds, as he told them their money would be in an escrow account that would not bear interest. But it did bear interest, and Weisberg is accused of stealing that money. Other indictments involved an alleged “stock fraud scheme.”

“Eastern District assistant U.S. attorney Ilene Jaroslaw told Garaufis at sentencing that a period of incarceration was “just punishment and adequate” while probation would “feed Martin Weisberg’s sense of entitlement to act outside of the law.” Prosecutors may seek a range of months of incarceration for Weisberg, anywhere from 78 to 97 months.

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To be certain, this case of a disbarred former employee should in no way represent the firm to which Weisberg formerly belonged. Baker & McKenzie is a global law firm with more than 60 years of experience in corporate law. It employs over 4000 lawyers in 74 offices in 46 countries. The firm operates in 37 of the world’s 50 largest economies. A few notable highlights of the longstanding quality of the firm were that Baker & McKenzie was recognized as “European Law Firm of the Year” at the Chambers Europe Awards 2012. The firm was named “Top Law Firm for Diversity” by Multicultural Law Magazine for the 8th consecutive year. Baker & McKenzie topped the National Law Journal’s NLJ250 rankings, an annual list of the largest US law firms by number of lawyers for 2011 and was ranked #1 by gross revenue in the 2011 Am Law 100 list of the top grossing firms in the US. To be clear, this example is most definitely an outlier event for an otherwise stellar law firm.





 

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