BULLETIN: SEC Says Attorney Jonathan Star Bristol Helped Convicted Ponzi Swindler Kenneth Ira Starr Steal Millions Of Dollars From Celebrity Clients

BULLETIN: The SEC has charged attorney Jonathan Star Bristol with aiding and abetting the Ponzi and fraud scheme of convicted swindler Kenneth Ira Starr, the so-called “financial adviser to the stars.”

Starr pleaded guilty to securities fraud, wire fraud and money-laundering in September. Among his former clients were former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, actress Uma Thurman, actor/producer Ron Howard, singer/songwriter Carly Simon and celebrity outfitter Jacob Arabo, known as “Jacob The Jewler.”

Bristol, according to the SEC, permitted Starr to use “attorney trust accounts” hidden from the management of a law firm for which Bristol worked “as conduits when Starr stole money from advisory clients.”

“Bristol had a legal and professional responsibility not to assist Ken Starr in conduct that he knew was unlawful,” said George S. Canellos, director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “Bristol crossed the line from lawyer to conspirator when he failed to safeguard funds entrusted to him, helped Starr steal client money, and lied to the victims to perpetuate the scheme.”

When one of Starr’s victims “confronted” Bristol about an unauthorized transfer of $1 million,  “Bristol lied to the victim that the funds were being bundled with other clients’ funds for an investment with UBS Financial Services,” the SEC said. “In fact, Bristol had already used the misappropriated funds to pay a multi-million dollar legal settlement with one of Starr’s former clients.”

Taking the deception one step farther, the SEC said, “Bristol subsequently sought to represent that same victim after the victim was contacted by SEC staff in its investigation. In addition to the fact that such representations violated the ethical obligations of lawyers, Bristol’s clear intent was to obstruct and undermine the SEC’s investigation in order to conceal the wrongdoing.”

Read the SEC complaint.

Kenneth Ira Starr also is known as Kenneth Starr, but he is not the same Kenneth Starr whose famous “Starr Report” led to impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton in 1998 and 1989 in the aftermath of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

That Kenneth Starr was Kenneth Winston Starr.

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