Partners

Winston & Strawn Partner Said to Be Mystery Lawyer Linked to Accused Moneyman


Press reports have identified a previously unnamed lawyer linked to a well-known financial adviser accused in an alleged $30 million financial fraud.

The lawyer was called “Associate 4” in the complaint against Manhattan moneyman Kenneth Ira Starr, a graduate of Brooklyn Law School who is no relation to the former independent counsel. An affidavit cited in the complaint (PDF posted by the Wall Street Journal Law Blog) had said Starr diverted money without his clients’ knowledge to associates or investments they controlled, including an attorney trust fund controlled by “Associate 4,” a partner in a prominent law firm.

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog says the lawyer is Jonathan Bristol, a partner at Winston & Strawn in New York. The report relies on an anonymous source. He has not been charged and has denied any wrongdoing.

Bristol formerly worked at Thelen before it disbanded, and is no longer listed on Winston & Strawn’s website, the Law Blog points out.

Bloomberg reported earlier that Bristol had created a shell company mentioned in the complaint that Starr allegedly used to pay the “extravagant” personal expenses of Andrew Stein, former president of the New York City Council and state assemblyman. Stein was charged with lying to the Internal Revenue Service and the government, but prosecutors say he wasn’t aware of Starr’s fraud. The Am Law Daily noted the Bloomberg story and contacted a Winston & Strawn spokesman, who said the law firm has no comment.

ABAJournal.com detailed allegations regarding Associate 4 in a story late last month.

Associate 4 was mentioned in one section of the affidavit citing the suspicions of one of Starr’s clients, an actress. She learned from her bank that $1 million had been wired from her personal account to the law firm partner’s trust account. When she called the lawyer, the affidavit alleges, he said that he believed the money belonged to Starr and angrily asserted that Starr “bungled me up on this.” Eventually, she got the money back, but it appears to have come from a transfer from the account of a different client of Starr’s, the affidavit says.

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