Thursday, December 16, 2010

Former(?) Winston & Strawn Partner Charged by SEC

A former(?) partner of global power house law firm, Winston Strawn, has been charged in a multi-million dollar scam.

The SEC charged Jonathan Star Bristol, attorney for former financial advisor Kenneth Ira Starr, with aiding and abetting Starr's multi-million dollar fraud by allowing Starr to use his attorney trust accounts as conduits when Starr stole money from advisory clients.

The SEC alleges that more than $25 million belonging to Starr's clients flowed through Bristol's attorney trust accounts. Without his clients' authorization, Starr would transfer their funds into the attorney trust accounts, and then Bristol would transfer the stolen funds to Starr and his two companies for personal use.

According to the SEC's amended complaint, Bristol was confronted by one of Starr's victims about an unauthorized $1 million transfer from the victim's account. Bristol lied to the victim that the funds were being bundled with other clients' funds for an investment with UBS Financial Services. In fact, Bristol had already used the misappropriated funds to pay a multi-million dollar legal settlement with one of Starr's former clients. Bristol subsequently sought to represent that same victim after the victim was contacted by SEC staff in its investigation.

WS removed Bristol’s bio from the firm's website. WS also dug deep and erased Bristol's name from the November 2008 press release that touted Bristol’s arrival at the firm (along with several other  lawyers).

Wiston Strawn has not publicly discussed Bristol's status with the firm.

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