Estimated net worth: $900 million
William S. Lerach is worth $900 million and was most recently a partner at San Diego-based Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP.
He’s also No. 7 on the San Diego Business Journal’s wealthiest residents list for 2007, up from No. 8 last year.
A shareholder rights attorney, Lerach has worked on such high-profile cases as those involving the Enron Corp. scandal. With those cases alone, he’s won settlements worth billions of dollars.
According to published reports, Lerach retired in August and he’s had legal troubles of his own this year. Those troubles relate to conspiracy charges.
Lerach came to San Diego in 2004 after leaving a New York-based firm that was since indicted for allegedly paying kickbacks to people to serve as “puppet” plaintiffs in more than 150 lawsuits.
Lerach, a Rancho Santa Fe attorney, pleaded guilty Oct. 29 in a Los Angeles federal courtroom to one count of criminal conspiracy. Under the agreement, Lerach will forfeit $7.75 million to the federal government, pay a $250,000 fine, and accept a sentence of between one and two years, but the sentencing judge does not have to adhere to that term. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 14.