by Brian Mahany
Kenneth Starr, former money manager for Wesley Snipes, Al Pacino and Sylvester Stallone, was sentenced to 7 ½ years in prison. Last year Starr pled guilty to stealing over $30 million from his celebrity clients. The sentence is a bittersweet victory for me; I tried to alert authorities in January of 2008 that Starr was a fraud.
During the Wesley Snipes trial, I issued a subpoena to Starr to produce records needed for Snipes’ defense. Starr not only failed to produce the records, he lied to both prosecutors and the court. Unfortunately, he was never sanctioned for his lies.
It would be more than 2 years before the feds listened and arrested Starr. When they raided his home, FBI agents found him hiding under his bed.
Starr went from a life of privilege to inmate number 63552-054.
Hopefully Starr’s former lawyer, Jonathan Bristol, will soon join him in federal prison.
Prosecutors say that Starr would steal monies from his clients’ accounts and transfer it to Bristol’s attorney trust account. When clients demanded money back, Starr and Bristol would move money around to keep clients from getting suspicious. Bristol is presently free on bail.
The two not only bilked celebrities. One of their victims was a 100-year-old woman. (Bristol has not yet been convicted – he is merely accused of these crimes at this point.)
Like all Ponzi schemes, the house of cards falls when there is not enough new money to pay the claims of old investors seeking to cash out.
Where did all the money go? The government says that $7.6 million went to purchase a luxury Manhattan apartment for Star and his wife Passage. The judge believes that part of Starr’s motivation in committing the crimes was his infatuation with his young fourth wife, Passage. According to New York’s Daily News, Passage was a stripper and pole dancer prior to marrying Starr.
Although Starr told the court he was a “contrite… and ashamed man,” his lawyer told the judge he should receive lenient sentence because his victims were “incredibly wealthy.” Starr is no Robin Hood; stealing from the wealthy so you can have a $7.6 million dollar home doesn’t warrant leniency. Nor does stealing from the elderly.
Stealing from celebrities is nothing new. Unfortunately we are working on another celebrity case and yet another money manager who has embezzled funds.
Mahany & Ertl is a full service boutique law firm that assists victims of fraud recover their hard earned money. We also represent victims of legal and accounting malpractice, securities fraud and Ponzi schemes. Our asset recovery and fraud recovery lawyers can help victims anywhere in the U.S. For a no nonsense consultation, call Brian Mahany at (414) 704-6731 or contact him through the firm’s website, http://www.mahanyertl.com
Mahany & Ertl, LLC – Milwaukee Wisconsin, Detroit (Birmingham) Michigan & Portland Maine