...knowing the risks of investments
Kill Bill star Uma Thurman is locked in an intense battle with her former financial advisor and convicted felon, Kenneth Starr, after suggesting that he was to blame for her losing nearly $2.5million in investments.
Playing the blame game
In a case that’s set to appear in court, Uma is demanding the return of a staggering $2.48million from Kenneth after claiming that he committed fraud as well as suggesting that he was at fault for her loss of millions in investments.
According to the Daily Mail, the trustee of Kenneth’s estate has urged the judge who will preside in the case not to award Uma anything at all.
Kenneth, who was the former accountant of high-profile Hollywood stars such as Natalie Portman, Barbara Walters, Sylvester Stallone, Liam Neeson, recently finished serving a 7 and a half year sentence in jail after being found guilty of wire fraud, money laundering, and investment advisor fraud.
In order to pay off creditors, the trustee of Kenneth’s estate is in the process of seizing assets and property as well as trying to recoup outstanding fees owed by some of Kenneth’s former clients, including designer Isaac Mizrahi.
The pitfalls of high-risk investments
Uma was Kenneth’s client for almost 20 years, with him handling her bills, taxes, investments, and other financial services. Uma apparently filed documents in Kenneth’s bankruptcy case back in 2012, according to Kenneth’s trustee, where she claimed that he owed her a $2.48million. She stated that Kenneth didn’t inform her about the risks associated with investing $1million in GlobalOptions – a security and technology company.
She also claimed that her $1million investment in Martini Park – a company operating several martini bars in areas such as Chicago and North Dallas – was made without her being informed of the risks involved.
Uma also stated that Kenneth owes her $485,000 in professional fees she paid to him from 2006 – 2010, as she believes that this is when he started defrauding his clients.
Kenneth’s trustee, however, has argued that the agreement Uma signed for the investment in GlobalOptions did have information about the significant risks involved. He also suggested that she was “well aware” of the risks involved with investing in Martini Park and that she would not be able to prove she was defrauded.
He added that as Kenneth had provided his clients – including Uma – with ‘legitimate’ and ‘valuable’ services over the years, such as tax preparation and accounting, he should be paid.
“This is a complicated case, which could be difficult for Uma to win if she did sign an agreement outlining what risks would be involved with making an investment in GlobalOptions.”
“But, financial advisors have a responsibility to ensure that their clients are aware of all of the risks involved with making investments before they make a decision, especially if their clients are planning on investing large sums of money. If the court finds that Uma was not appropriately informed about the risks, then she may be able to reclaim the substantial sums of money she lost.”
“Generally, investors should consider having suitable underlying asset allocation, which is the process of dividing investments between different assets, for example cash, bonds, or property. This helps to minimise the impact on your finances if the worst should happen and you had to deal with losses.”
“I recommend that anyone interested in making any kind of financial investment should ensure that they get the appropriate advice from a qualified advisor, and if they are unsure about advice they receive they should seek a second opinion.”
Written by Nicola Hartley.
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