Hedge fund manager Gregory Blotnick accused in COVID scam, held on $500K bail – Viralmula.com - ViralMula.com
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Hedge fund manager Gregory Blotnick accused in COVID scam, held on $500K bail – Viralmula.com

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A hedge fund manager charged with 33 counts of grand larceny and fraud for allegedly stealing millions of dollars in COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program loans was ordered held on $500,000 bail at his Manhattan Supreme Court arraignment Wednesday.

Gregory Blotnick, 33, allegedly ripped off $4.6 million from the PPP program by filing multiple fraudulent loan applications for his New York groups, Brattle Street Capital LLC and BSC Management LLC over a one year period, state prosecutors said.

He’s accused of lying about the number of employees at his companies and claiming he needed the funds to cover payroll. Instead, he transferred the money to a brokerage account — and lost millions in the stock market, prosecutors alleged.

Blotnick, a resident of West Palm Beach, Florida, pleaded not guilty Wednesday, and was held on $500,000 cash bail, which his lawyers claim he cannot afford.

Prosecutors argued for a larger bail, claiming Blotnick is a flight risk that tried to leave the country in April.

Defense lawyers argued the money manager is broke and said he just completed a substance abuse treatment program and is now taking medication for bipolar disorder, as they argued for leniency.

Gregory Blotnick at his arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court on July 21, 2021.
Gregory Blotnick at his arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court on July 21, 2021.
Steven Hirsch

Blotnick faces eight-and-a-half to 25 years in prison if convicted.

“Mr. Blotnick repeatedly took advantage of a system intended to provide lifelines to small businesses and their employees during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,” District Attorney Cy Vance wrote in a press release when Blotnick was charged in April.

The financier is also facing federal charges of stealing nearly $4 million from the program by falsifying loan applications for three other businesses.

Gregory Blotnick is accused of stealing millions in PPP loans.
Gregory Blotnick is accused of stealing millions in PPP loans.
Steven Hirsch

Blotnick squandered that ill-gotten cash to buy more than $3 million in losing stock trades, federal prosecutors said.

“The Justice Department and its law enforcement partners remain committed to aggressively pursuing and holding accountable fraudsters who treat COVID-19 relief programs like a personal piggy bank,” Acting US Attorney Rachael Honig for the District of New Jersey wrote in May.

Judy Blotnick at her son Gregory Blotnick's arraignment on July 21, 2021.
Judy Blotnick at her son Gregory Blotnick’s arraignment on July 21, 2021.
Steven Hirsch

Blotnick’s lawyer, Jason Berland, said Blotnick is expected to plead guilty to the federal charges next week. He’s due back in Manhattan criminal court on October 19.

Neither Blotnick nor Berland could be reached for comment by The Post Wednesday.



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Evander Kane tanked games for gambling profit: wife

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NHL star Evander Kane’s pregnant wife ripped her husband in a scathing Instagram post — claiming the San Jose Sharks forward is a gambling addict who tanked games for profit and abandoned her with their toddler to party in Europe while their house is being “taken by the bank.”

The Saturday Instagram stories have apparently already prompted an investigation by the National Hockey League, which said in a tweet it was aware of the posts and intended to “conduct a full investigation.”

Anna Kane let loose on her husband in the blistering posts, painting him as an addict who had left her with no money to even buy formula for their daughter.

“How does the NHL let a compulsive gambling addict still play when he’s obviously throwing games to win money?” she wrote. “Hmm maybe someone needs to address this.”

In another, the wife of the forward wrote, “Can someone ask (Commissioner) Gary Bettman how they let a player gamble on his own games? Bet and win with bookies on his own games?”

Kane’s manager denied the allegations, telling The Post, “They are serious but they’re not true.”

Anna Kane claims her husband has a gambling problem and has tanked his own team's games.
Anna Kane claims husband Evander Kane has a gambling problem and has tanked his own team’s games.
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“We’ve been advised not to say anything right now,” manager Karl Mullins told The Post, adding the couple was “just having problems” and that the player would speak out “after the investigation is complete.”

Evander Kane filed for bankruptcy in California in January, just two years after signing a seven-year, $49 million contract with the Sharks. In November 2019, he was sued by a Las Vegas casino over $500,000 in gambling debts.

Anna Kane describes a devastating scene in her Instagram stories Saturday.

On her Instagram story, Anna Kane called out her husband for leaving her alone in dire straits as he went to Europe.
In an Instagram Story, Anna Kane called out Evander for leaving her alone in dire straits as he went to Europe.
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“So you leave July 8th. You do not call or text at all for 7 days. Then you inform me you are going to Europe for a vacation must be nice, but at the same time tell me our house is being taken by the bank,” she wrote.

“But do not come home to help ur [sic] pregnant wife pack or help her with anything at all,” she added, claiming Kane “never” calls their 1-year-old daughter “who walked around the house with her bunny saying ‘dada’ for a week looking for you.”

“I don’t know if there are even words to describe the kind of evil person that you are to abandon your wife who is pregnant with your son and your one year old daughter,” she wrote.

Kane's wife also called on NHL commissioner to step in on the situation.
Kane’s wife also called on NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to step in.
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The wife also posted a screenshot of an apparent response from the hockey player, telling her he would see their child on Aug. 8 and 9 — and asking her to leave the key to their home under the mat when she vacates.

“What a guy,” she sniped in an accompanying caption. “This is when the addiction is more important then anyone and everything. My heart goes out to anyone who has to deal with loved ones addicted to anything in any form who put that before their own family.”



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TSRFoodies–Video: on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, how tasty does this deep-fried Collard Greens dish look? :( )

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TSRFoodies–Video: on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, how tasty does this deep-fried Collard Greens dish look? 📹:(@trendy_chef )

 

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Pinterest Sees Slower US User Growth as People Step Out Due to Ease in COVID-19 Restrictions

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Pinterest on Thursday said user growth in the United States was decelerating as people who used the platform for crafts and DIY projects during the height of the pandemic are stepping out more as curbs ease.

Shares of the digital pinboard site slumped nearly 20 percent in extended trade, with investors looking past Pinterest beating revenue estimates in the second quarter, as overall monthly active users (MAUs) fell short of expectations.

Social media companies worldwide saw digital advertisement spending and user growth surge as lockdowns accelerated the shift to e-commerce, but analysts are now concerned if those gains are here to stay.

“Pinterest’s use case was very compelling for people staying at home during the pandemic, and with the economy opening up, there is less focus on what Pinterest is best for,” Wedbush analyst Ygal Arounian said.

Overall MAUs, a widely watched metric, rose by only 9 percent to 454 million during the quarter. Analysts had estimated 487.1 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data. It had risen 30 percent in the prior quarter.

“For the past year, we’ve highlighted how people came to Pinterest for inspiration to reinvent their lives during such a difficult time. Now as the world opens up, we’re seeing the similar effect in the opposite direction,” Chief Executive Officer Ben Silbermann said during a call with analysts.

Pinterest’s MAUs in the United States, a major market for the company, was nearly 7 percent lower as of July 27. Its global MAUs grew by about 5 percent.

The shift in user engagement was more visible in Web than mobile app users, Pinterest said, adding that Web users tended to be, on average, less engaged and generated lower revenue.

Total revenue more than doubled to $613 million (roughly Rs. 4,560 crores) in the quarter versus analysts’ average estimates of $562.1 million (roughly Rs. 4,180 crores).

© Thomson Reuters 2021




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