Attorney Disbarred After Admitting to Ponzi Scheme

A former attorney who masterminded a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of $30 million was stripped of his license to practice law in New York.  In the case, Matter of Starr, M-1636, the five-member panel of the Appellate Division, First Department stated that:

"Since respondent admitted to conduct which satisfies the elements of scheme to defraud in the first degree, a New York class E felony, and grand larceny in the second degree, a New York class C felony…he is subject to automatic disbarment…which he does not contest,"

The disbarment will be retroactive to Starr's guilty plea in September 2010.

Kenneth Starr had pled guilty to charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and investment advisor fraud in September 2010, under which prosecutors had agreed to request a sentence based on federal sentencing guidelines calling for a sentence of ten to twelve years in prison.  However, United States District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin departed from the guidelines and sentenced Starr to ninety months in federal prison based on Starr's longstanding charity and civic work. 

The scheme made headlines when it was revealed that several of Starr's victims were celebrities, including Uma Thurman.