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Ex-N.Y. Official Stein Gets 3 Years’ Probation on Tax Charge

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March 15 (Bloomberg) -- Former Manhattan Borough President Andrew Stein was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to perform 500 hours of community service after failing to pay his 2008 income taxes.

Stein was arrested in May along with investment adviser Kenneth Ira Starr and charged with committing a tax crime and with lying to investigators. In December, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failure to pay taxes.

“I was irresponsible in my financial affairs in not paying my taxes when I should have,” Stein told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis at his sentencing in Manhattan federal court today. “It was wrong.”

Stein, who faced a possible jail sentence, said after the hearing that he was grateful for being sentenced to probation and community service. Stein also served as New York City Council president from 1985 to 1993. The position was abolished in 1994.

The government originally alleged that Starr routed investor funds to entities including Wind River LLC, a shell company created by Stein. At a hearing in May, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Harrington said prosecutors were probing Stein’s use of Wind River when they came across Starr’s alleged fraud.

Starr, whose celebrity clients included actors Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes, pleaded guilty to defrauding his clients out of $33.3 million and was sentenced March 3 to 7 1/2 years in prison.

The case is U.S. v. Stein, 1:10-cr-01171, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in Manhattan federal court at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.