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Ponzi Schemer Kenneth Starr Goes to Jail for Defrauding Celebrities

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“Advisor to the stars” Kenneth Starr, whose client list of celebrities included notables such as Sylvester Stallone and Martin Scorsese, was sentenced March 2 to seven and a half years in jail for a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

"I stand before you a contrite, humiliated and ashamed man," Starr said at his sentencing before U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in New York City.

Starr, 67, had "lost his moral compass,” Scheindlin said before imposing the sentence, “partly as a result of his infatuation with his younger fourth wife.”

Diane Passage, his 34-year-old wife, a former stripper, sat in the first row of the gallery at the hearing.

“Instead of jail time that could easily have run 10 to 15 years for defrauding investors and putting millions of dollars into shell companies, [the judge] opted for leniency, arguing essentially that victims of the disgraced celebrity accountant, such as Uma Thurman, Lauren Bacall, Neil Simon, Denise Rich and Jim Wiatt, were rich and did not go broke as a result of his fraud scheme,” according to a report in The Daily Beast.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Starr on May 27, 2010, with fraud and sought an emergency court order to freeze his assets after he allegedly stole $7 million in client money to buy a multimillion-dollar apartment.

Read “After the Kenneth Starr Swindle: How Advisors Can Reassure Clients” at


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