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September 10, 2010 1:45 PM

Ken Starr Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges

Posted by Brian Baxter

CORRECTION: 9/13/10, 2:32 p.m. A previous version of this story misidentified the work background of Starr's lawyer Joshua Klein in the fifth paragraph. We regret the error.

Once a top financial adviser to Hollywood's elite, Kenneth Starr has agreed to give up the lifestyle of an affluent money manager for the far less friendly confines of a prison cell.

Starr, not to be confused with the former solicitor general and current president of Baylor University of the same name, changed his plea from not guilty to guilty in a federal courtroom in Manhattan on Friday, according to The New York Times.

In May, Federal prosecutors filed charges against Starr, a nonpracticing lawyer who stands accused of misappropriating $7 million in client funds that he used to purchase and furnish a luxury apartment for himself and enrich friends. As previously reported here, the case called into question legal work done for Starr by former Thelen and Winston & Strawn partner Jonathan Bristol, who was identified as "associate-4" in court records.

In July a court-appointed receiver seeking to recoup funds for Starr clients, Troutman Sanders partner Aurora Cassirer, filed suit against Martin Scorsese. Cassirer also issued subpoenas to Winston, Thelen, and Bristol for records related to the disgraced financial adviser.

Starr is being represented in his criminal case by Petrillo Klein cofounder Joshua Klein, who started his own shop earlier this year with former Dechert partner Guy Petrillo, previously head of the criminal division at the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.

Also charged with tax fraud in the criminal case is former Manhattan borough president Andrew Stein, allegedly a close friend of Starr's. (Earlier this week, Stein was found in contempt by a Manhattan court after failing to appear for a deposition over a $30,000 loan he accepted from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom name partner Joseph Flom, according to sibling publication the New York Law Journal.)

Abbe Lowell, head of the white-collar criminal defense group at McDermott Will & Emery in Washington, D.C, is representing Starr in a civil case filed by the SEC.

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