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Ken Starr Sues Scorsese for $600,000

Court appointed receiver says Oscar-winning director owes alleged Ponzi schemer money

This is a new one — Ken Starr as a plaintiff.

The alleged Ponzi schemer who purportedly took money from several famous Hollywood clients is suing one of those big names, Martin Scorsese.

In a suit filed Thursday in New York Supreme Court, court appointed receiver Aurora Cassirer claims that the “Goodfellas” director owes his former business manager’s Starr Investment Advisors and Starr Companies nearly $600,000 in unpaid fees.

Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions is also named in the breach of contract suit.

When one of Starr’s account managers, Arnie Herrmann, left the company in January 2010 to take a position at Chris Cooper & Company, the Oscar-winning director took his business to the firm as well. In doing so, the suit claims that Scorsese neglected to pay the five percent on his earnings over a four-year period from 2006 to 2010 that he was contractually obligated to give Starr’s company.

During that period — in which the director’s “The Departed” won a slew of Oscars and earned nearly $300 million worldwide — Scorsese was alleged to have earned nearly $12 million.

In February 2010, Hermann informed Starr Companies that Scorsese would only pay only the "average" of payments made over the previous six years, or $144,300, which he agreed to pay out over two-year period, according to the suit.

On Thursday, Michelle Benson, Scorsese’s publicist, said, "Martin Scorsese's Sikelia Productions has paid substantial fees to his former business manager's firm, and if it has been determined that there is anything still outstanding, it will be rectified.”

Cassirer declined to comment to TheWrap, but previously told the New York Post that the suit was the first of many that would be filed trying to recoup unpaid fees.

"I can tell you they'll be interesting,” Cassirer told the Post about future targets.

Aaron Barlow writes about film, new media (especially blogging) and whatever else happens to pique his interest. Past owner/operator of a cafe, a store, and a gallery (among other activities), he began teaching at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) four years ago. His newest book is “Quentin Tarantino: Life at the Extremes.” Visit him online at www.aaronbarlow.com.