updated 10/18/2007 3:59:55 PM ET 2007-10-18T19:59:55

A man prosecutors say was paid about $2.6 million to be a professional plaintiff who helped a prestigious New York law firm get lucrative class-action lawsuits pleaded guilty on Thursday to obstruction of justice and two other charges.

After reaching a plea deal, Seymour Lazar, 80, of Palm Springs appeared before U.S. District Court Judge John Walter. He also pleaded guilty to one count each of subscribing to a false tax return and making a false declaration to the court.

Lazar faces up to 18 years in federal prison.

“He does take full responsibility for his actions,” said his attorney, Thomas Bienert.

Lazar was the latest person to plead guilty in a seven-year federal investigation that accuses the firm, previously known as Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, of secretly paying $11.3 million in kickbacks to get people to take part in more than 225 class-action and shareholder lawsuits.

Prosecutors believe the firm now known as Milberg Weiss made an estimated $250 million by filing lawsuits against some of the nation’s largest companies, including Lucent, Microsoft, Prudential Insurance and AT&T.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 4.94%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.19%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.58%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.40%
13.40%
Cash Back Cards 17.92%
17.91%
Rewards Cards 17.12%
17.11%
Source: Bankrate.com