Attorney and money manager Kenneth I. Starr, who pleaded guilty last year to running a $33 million Ponzi scheme, was officially disbarred yesterday by the Appellate Division, First Department. “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 five-member panel wrote. The ruling in Matter of Starr, M-1636, appears on page 6 of the print edition of today’s Law Journal.
The charges against Mr. Starr were federal, but would have constituted a fraud under state law, according to the decision. The disbarment will be retroactive to September 2010, when Mr. Starr pleaded guilty. Southern District prosecutors charged Mr. Starr with wire fraud, investment adviser fraud and money laundering in April 2010. They alleged that he stole funds his clients invested with him to buy a $7.6 million Manhattan apartment, among other purchases. Mr. Starr advised numerous celebrities, including actors Wesley Snipes and Sylvester Stallone.