When Kenneth Starr pleaded guilty last March to stealing more than $33 million from his celebrity clients, he already had turned over to the United States government the luxurious condo that he had purchased for $7.6 million on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
With five bedrooms, five and a half baths, 1,543-sf rear terrace that has an outdoor kitchen, an indoor lap pool and a 340-sf second terrace upstairs, the 6,550-sf triplex goes to auction on Feb. 29.
Now serving what was an unexpectedly light seven-and-a-half-year sentence, Starr had as his clients luminaries such as Uma Thurman, Al Pacino and Martin Scorsese.
According to the of U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara, the fraudster was a financial planner for and investment adviser to numerous clients, managing their finances, paying their bills, providing tax advice and making investments for them. His fraudulent schemes started in 2005, when he began transferring clients’ funds into his own escrow and other accounts and also induced clients to make certain investments.
Among Starr’s unidentified victims in the indictment were “an elderly playwright and screenwriter,” an “elderly actress” and a “nearly 100-year-old heiress” whose business accounts supplied approximately $5.75 million toward the purchase of the condo early in 2010. Funds from four other clients were applied to the purchase as well.
Said Bharara following the sentencing:
Kenneth Starr pretended he had the Midas touch, but he was in reality peddling fool’s gold.
Although he was charged with multiple counts of wire fraud, investment adviser fraud and money laundering, he admitted at his sentencing in federal court last March to just one count of each offense. Starr — whose fourth wife, a former exotic dancer in her mid 30s, continued to live in the apartment following his arrest — was 67 at the time.
As part of an agreement to pay $29 million restitution, he forfeited his interest in the apartment in a doorman building called Lux 74 at 433 E. 74th St.
In all likelihood, what you might imagine will be true about a condo with sauna and wet bar adjacent to that pool, a (windowless) recreation room, plush media room, “banquet room,” laundry room and, of course, glam open kitchen that has a humongous stove.
The auction on behalf of the U.S. Treasury Department is to start at 11 a.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott, 410 E. 92nd St. A $250,000 cashier’s check is required to register as a bidder.
To inspect the unit, you’ll need to make an appointment between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Feb. 19, 22 or 26. And oh, to make an appointment, you must have a $1 million letter of credit.
Tomorrow: Piece of their mind
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