• Legal Business updated  2010/12/19 19:32
A former lawyer for a financial adviser to celebrity clients was arrested Thursday on money-laundering charges filed in New York alleging he helped conceal the adviser's Ponzi-like scheme.
Attorney Jonathan Bristol pleaded not guilty Thursday in federal court in Manhattan. He was released on $1 million bond.
An indictment alleges that Bristol hid investor money stolen by Kenneth Starr — a one-time adviser to Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone and Martin Scorsese — in secret escrow accounts.
Prosecutors say Bristol raided the accounts in January to pay $1 million to settle a claim by a disgruntled Starr client. They say another $100,000 was used to cover bills from Bristol's law firm.
In April, Bristol also used the escrow accounts to help Starr siphon $7 million in investors' money to buy Starr a five-bedroom, six-bath condominium, the indictment says. Prosecutors had previously alleged that $5.75 million of the total was stolen from a 100-year-old heiress.