Accountant Shenanigans: Kenneth Starr

Kenneth Starr, accountant (not of Bill Clinton special prosecutor fame) and financial advisor to the stars, was indicted on June 10th for 20 counts of wire fraud and 1 count each of securities fraud, money laundering and fraud by an investment advisor.  He has been accused of stealing $59 million (and counting) from his clients. 

Interesting details:

  • Clients included Uma Thurman, Martin Scorsese, Annie Leibovitz, Mike Nichols and Diane Sawyer, Neil Simon, David Halberstam and a host of others.
  • Sylvester Stallone sued Starr for $10million over the sale of Planet Hollywood shares and ended up settling for a "substantial" amount
  • Starr lived in the same building as Andrew Madoff, son of Bernie.
  • Starr tried to convince clients to invest in "Pole Superstars", which his (4th) wife Diane,  a stripper, hoped would one day become an Olympic sport. 
  • He is accused of putting clients' funds in highly risky investments including Martini Park - a chain of nightclubs, Jinti - a Chinese internet site and Universal Identification Solutions—a South American electronic-voting-machine company
  • The receiver for Starr's investment firm is suing Martin Scorcese for $600,000 of unpaid fees relating to accounting and other services.
  • Starr's accounts are frozen for upto two years i.e. his clients will not have access to their money except for cost of living expenses

Starr's bail was set at $10million and his trial is scheduled to start in November.

Read article at Vanity Fair.


Update on 2011-03-02 23:38 by Ronika Khanna

Kenneth Starr is sentenced to 7.5 years in prison.  Enough?


Update on 2010-09-11 22:14 by Ronika Khanna

Kenneth Starr has pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud, money laundering and investment adviser fraud.  The plea agreement calls for prison sentence of 10 to 12.5 years however the Judge does not have to abide by this. 

Mr Starr "admitted that he stole $20 million to $50 million from his clients to use for his own purposes. Some of the money paid a multimillion-dollar legal settlement with a former client while other money bought a $7.5 million Upper East Side condo with a lap pool and a 1,500-square-foot garden."

The government is also looking for forfeiture of Mr. Starr's assets up to $50 million.

Sentencing is scheduled to take place on December 15th.