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Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Laundering Charges in Kenneth Starr Case

By Heather Grossmann

DNAinfo News Editor

MANHATTAN — A former lawyer for Kenneth Starr pleaded guilty Monday to laundering nearly $19 million in connection with the financial advisor's $30 million Ponzi scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Jonathan Bristol, 55, admitted to setting up escrow accounts to receive funds Starr stole from his wealthy clients, including Uma Thurman, former William Morris Agency CEO Jim Wiatt and Jacob Arabov, known as "Jacob the Jeweler."

In April 2010 Bristol used the accounts to help Starr steal more than $7 million from his clients and then use some of that money to buy a five bedroom, 6.5 bathroom condo on the Upper East Side, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

 "Attorneys are supposed to promote respect for the rule of law. But Jonathan Bristol abused his position as a partner at a prominent New York City law firm to break the law over and over again. Bristol should have been a gatekeeper; instead, he was an enabler to Kenneth Starr and his multi-million dollar fraud," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

Starr pleaded guilty on Sept. 10, 2010 to wire fraud, money laundering and investment adviser fraud. He is serving 7½ years in jail.

Bristol pleased guilty to one count of conspiracy. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. The lawyer agreed to pay $18,860,282.69 in restitution.

He will be sentenced in September.