By Dan Primack
January 20, 2011

Ponzi schemer Kenneth Starr is set to be sentenced in two weeks, and his (fourth) wife is asking friends to write letters of support to the judge. Here is a copy of the request, obtained by Fortune:

Hi XX, hope you’re doing well.

My husband Ken Starr asked that I contact you – his sentencing is coming up in less than a month and his attorney asked me to collect a ton of letters from colleagues, friends and family to ask the judge for leniency in sentencing. We would really appreciate if you could contribute a letter that explains any positive experiences you may have had with him. I’ve attached a document with more specifics of what the letter should communicate.

The deadline for letters is January 17th. I hope you can help!

Thank you in advance.


Given that Starr plead guilty to defrauding his clients of up to $59 million — plus money laundering — it’s not a great bet that Diane was able to secure “a ton” of letters by Monday’s deadline. So, to help out, I’ve drafted a few letters from Starr’s onetime pals. Hopefully Diane — who met Ken while she was dancing at Scores — can just print them out and get them signed:

Dear Judge Scheindlin,

I wanted to write a letter letting you know about the positive experiences I’ve had with Ken Starr, who you’re about to send up the river. I am co-founder of The Blackstone Group, and it always takes us years to raise money for our private equity funds. Most of our investors are major institutions — we raise billions — but Ken helpfully pointed out that we could take money from his clients if it was all pooled together. Smart guy, and he probably saved us some groveling at the feet of Middle Eastern royals. So, so grateful…

Sure we are mildly concerned that the returns we generated for Ken’s clients might have been funneled into his personal art collection, but it’s just as possible that there was a mistake with U.S. Post. Either way, please consider his contribution to American capitalism as a mitigating factor in his sentencing. We couldn’t have bought Equity Office without him…


Pete Peterson

Or how about this one?

Dear Judge Scheindlin,

My name is Andrew Stein, and I used to be Manhattan borough president. A public servant, just like you. But what you’ll learn upon retirement is that it can be hard to cash in all of those chits you’ve collected over the years. Do you know how many Wall Streeters helped me launch my hedge fund, after years of me inviting them to parties with big-name celebrities? Me neither — I’m bad with numbers — but it wasn’t enough.

But then Ken came around, and paid me cash money for my matchmaking skills (I just assume all of those relationships worked out okay). Moreover, he helped me set up a shell company that let me hide more than $2 million in earnings (for a while, at least). Ken Starr is the type of guy who helps out a friend when he’s down, so now is my chance to return the favor. Please give him a congenial celly.


Andrew Stein

One more:

Dear Judge Scheindlin,

My name is Sylvester Stallone. You may know me from such films as Rocky, First Blood and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. I also once played a judge — Judge Dredd — so we have something in common.

Several years ago, Ken Starr persuaded me to hold onto my $10 million stake in Planet Hollywood, even though the company’s finances were worse than my diction. I sued Ken once the company went bust, and we settled out of court for what my lawyer called a “substantial” amount.

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Why would Sly send a letter in support of someone he sued?” Well, because it’s one of the only times someone has paid up for giving me bad advice (and I’ve gotten a lot of it in my time). Sure he didn’t want to at first, but Ken ultimately signed the check — which consequently helped me avoid needing to make Rocky 7 (which probably would have ended like Million Dollar Baby). So please give Ken a break, on behalf of myself and theater owners everywhere.


Sylvester Stallone

So there you go Diane. If these don’t work out, I’m sure we could write some more. And if anyone else out there wants to write their own letter, what follows are the official guidelines, from Starr’s attorney:

View this document on Scribd

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