Legal Ethics

Ex-Winston & Strawn Partner Expected to Plead Guilty in Celebrity Money Manager Case

A former Winston & Strawn partner has reached an agreement that could pave the way for a guilty plea in connection with his work for a celebrity money manager.

Prosecutors told a Manhattan federal judge on Monday that the former partner, Jonathan Bristol, has reached an agreement in principle to resolve charges he laundered more than $20 million stolen from celebrity clients by convicted money manager Kenneth Starr, according to the New York Post, the New York Law Journal and the Am Law Daily. The money was allegedly laundered through attorney trust accounts.

Starr (no relation to the independent counsel) was sentenced last week to 7½ years in prison for the Ponzi scheme. Bristol’s defense lawyer, Susan Kellman, told the Post it’s still unclear what kind of sentence her client will receive. Sentencing is scheduled for May 2.

The New York Post reports that Bristol “was ordered to see a shrink” after repeatedly weeping the day he surrendered to authorities.

Meanwhile, Winston & Strawn faces a lawsuit from an unhappy investor who seeks to hold the law firm accountable for a $2 million investment loss. The law firm has called the suit “blunderbuss” and has filed a motion to dismiss, the Am Law Daily says.

According to the law firm’s motion, the suit by James Wiatt, the former chairman and CEO of the William Morris Agency, “contains no allegations that Winston & Strawn authorized Bristol to maintain the attorney trust account, let alone to use it as a parking space for the funds of Starr’s clients.”

Previous coverage: “Winston & Strawn Partner Said to Be Mystery Lawyer Linked to Accused Moneyman” “Ex-Client Sues Winston and Ex-Partner, Says His $1M Covered Uma Thurman Loss in Starr Theft”

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