Kenneth Starr Faces Nov. 1 Trial on Charges He Defrauded Celebrity Clients

Money manager Kenneth I. Starr faces a Nov. 1 criminal trial on charges that he defrauded his celebrity and socialite clients of at least $59 million.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin today scheduled the trial while also ruling that Starr must file any requests to suppress evidence by Aug. 5.

Starr, 66, is charged with 20 counts of wire fraud and one each of securities fraud, money laundering and fraud by an investment adviser. He is being held without bail and denies the charges. If convicted of wire fraud, Starr faces as much as 20 years in prison.

He was represented at a proceeding in Manhattan federal court by attorney Flora Edwards, who told the judge that she would soon submit a proposal to release Starr on bail. Edwards also said she may ask to quit the case if Starr can’t locate assets to pay her with.

“If there’s no possibility of getting access to funds, he should have” a court-appointed lawyer, Edwards said in court.

Starr was arrested May 27 and accused of defrauding clients, including heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, in a scheme to buy a $7.5 million Manhattan apartment. Prosecutors expanded the allegations in the subsequent indictment.

Starr used his access to famous and powerful clients “to burnish an image of trustworthiness, leading his clients to entrust him with management and control of their financial affairs,” sometimes assuming “total control” over their financial lives, the indictment charges.

Edwards is the third attorney to represent Starr, after Abbe Lowell and a court-appointed attorney.

The case is U.S. v. Starr, 1:10-cr-520, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: David Glovin in New York federal court at dglovin@bloomberg.net.

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