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CNN 20: Michael Milken Pleads Guilty, April 24, 1990

Aired April 24, 2000 - 1:48 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

STUART VARNEY, CNN ANCHOR: Michael Milken played a pivotal role in the business and economics of the 1980s. He basically invented the junk bond market. Michael Milken, being at the very center of the buyout craze of the 1980s, actually became a very unpopular figure. And he was unpopular because it was assumed to be his fault that so many people were losing their jobs, which is not strictly the case, although he had created the financial situation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, APRIL 24, 1990)

DEBORAH MARCHINI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The deposed king of the junk bond market described six crimes he admits committing in the course of catapulting himself and his firm, Drexel Burnham Lambert to the top. The court appearance took its toll. Milken broke down sobbing as he acknowledged his guilt and the strain on his family and friends.

In all, Milken pleaded guilty to six charges, including conspiracy and securities and mail fraud. More significance in the defense were what the charges did not include.

ARTHUR LIMAN, MILKEN'S ATTORNEY: The charges do not involve RICO or inside trading, nor do they reflect on the fundamentals of the junk bond market.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VARNEY: The end result, essentially, was that Michael Milken was fined some $900 million. That's at least what it cost to settle all of the lawsuits against him. He was sentenced to 10 years and actually served two years in prison.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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