Kenneth Starr, who last May was arrested for running a Ponzi scheme on celebs that included Uma Thurman, Jim Wiatt, Martin Scorsese and Al Pacino, drew a 7.5 year sentence, the New York Daily News reports. He pleaded guilty last September. Starr was a nerdy accountant who changed his look after he hooked up with former Scores dancer Diane Passage and used money from clients to fund a lavish lifestyle. The 67-year old’s scheme was uncovered when clients like Thurman and Wiatt began comparing notes and discovered irregularities. It’s reminiscent of the money manager Dana Giacchetto, who became a preeminent investor of movie star money in the 1990s and was undone after he got caught up in the reflected glow of fame. For wealthy stars and Hollywood deal makers, it’s also a terrific reminder that when your investment adviser sheds the pocket pencil protector and begins dressing up in black outfits and encourages you to invest in a competitive pole dancing league start up (as Starr reportedly did), it’s time to get your money the heck out of there.
Hollywood financial adviser and accountant Kenneth Starr, who among others cheated Al Pacino, Uma Thurman, and former William Morris CEO Jim Wiatt, pleaded guilty to fraud charges this morning. He admitted to a Ponzi-type scheme in which he lost between $20 million and $50 million of his clients’ money over the past 5 years. “I used a portion of the money for my own purposes,” Starr told an U.S. District Court in Manhattan, according to the AP. Starr has been jailed since his May arrest because he couldn’t pay his $10 million bail. Starr’s fall from grace defrauded some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Not only did he help himself to his clients’ money, but he then moved money from other client accounts to cover shortfalls when questions were asked. The indictment allegeed that Starr used the funds to finance such purchases as a five bedroom condo on the Upper East Side that cost at least $7.5 million with a 32-foot lap pool and a 1,500 square foot garden.