Cuomo got $79G from suspected fraudster

May 29, 2010 at 2:48 PM
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NEW YORK, May 29 (UPI) -- A New York accountant charged with swindling celebrities in a $30 million fraud donated $79,000 to gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo, investigators say.

Cuomo's campaign has discussed Kenneth Starr's contributions with federal prosecutors, spokesman Josh Vlasto said Friday. Starr also made political donations to other politicians, mostly Democrats like President Barack Obama, who got $9,200, but he also gave $2,300 to U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during his presidential run, the New York Daily News reported.

Starr made his last donation to Cuomo, the New York attorney general, in January 2009, six months before the federal investigation became public.

Starr's alleged victims include movie stars like Uma Thurman, Sylvester Stallone and Al Pacino, director Martin Scorsese and TV newswoman Diane Sawyer.

Insiders told the News that Starr's life fell apart after his second wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and he met Diane Passage, a former stripper from Detroit who became his third wife. He allegedly spent heavily on gifts for Passage, including jewelry and expensive clothes.

"The story of Ken Starr is simple," one source told the News. "He was one of the world's greatest salesmen whose entire life was turned upside down by his infatuation for a stripper."

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