Financial advisor to the stars Kenneth Starr pleaded guilty Friday, September 10, to swindling his clients in a fraud case that involved the theft of millions of dollars from celebrity clients such as Uma Thurman and Al Pacino.
Starr, who is to be sentenced on December 15, admitted to New York Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz that he ran a $50 million Ponzi scheme that endured for five years before he was caught by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle that included the purchase of a $7.6 million apartment on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, according to the SEC.
“I used a portion of the money for my own purposes,” the 66-year-old Starr said in Manhattan federal court, according to a report in the New York Post.
Charges in the guilty plea included investment advisor fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. Starr’s plea deal calls for a prison sentence of 121 to 151 months.
The charges included Starr’s purchase through an entity called Colcave of the multimillion-dollar apartment where he and his wife, Diane Passage, resided. The SEC’s complaint named Starr, Passage, and Colcave as defendants to recover client assets now in their possession. In addition to the emergency relief, the SEC’s complaint seeks payment of interest and financial penalties from the defendants.