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Paul Bergrin Update: Former NJ defense attorney sentenced to life in prison

In this May 8, 2009, file photo, attorney Paul Bergrin is seen in Superior Court in Newark, N.J. Bergrin, 53, a defense attorney and former federal prosecutor whose clients have included rap stars and a soldier at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was charged Wednesday, May 20, 2009, with arranging the killing of one witness and trying to hire a hit man to kill another. (AP Photo/Mike Derer, File) AP Photo/Mike Derer

May 8, 2009 file photo of attorney Paul Bergrin in Superior Court in Newark, NJ
In this May 8, 2009, file photo, attorney Paul Bergrin is seen in Superior Court in Newark, N.J.
AP Photo/Mike Derer
(CBS/AP) NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey defense attorney who once had a roster of celebrity clients has been sentenced to life in prison after his conviction on nearly two dozen counts including murder conspiracy and racketeering.

Paul Bergrin was sentenced Monday in a federal courtroom in Newark.

Bergrin and several associates were accused in May 2009 with running Bergrin's law business as a criminal enterprise. The U.S. attorney's office charged Bergrin with more than 30 counts including racketeering, setting up the murder of a witness, drug trafficking, promoting prostitution and money laundering.

A first trial ended in a hung jury two years ago. Bergrin was convicted in March on 23 counts. The other defendants had already pleaded guilty.

Bergrin once represented Lil' Kim, Queen Latifah and rappers Naughty By Nature.

The website NJ.com reports Bergrin is also a former federal prosecutor and Army major.

Complete coverage of the Paul Bergrin case on Crimesider.

  • Iris Carreras

    Iris Carreras covers crime for CBSNews.com

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