I wonder who’s the schmo paying off this million dollar bill? Caveat Emptor :)
After a year of denials, glamorous Ukranian embezzler Renata Shamrakova admitted in a Manhattan courtroom today that she stole nearly $1 million while working as the very “personal” assistant to party-boy hedge funder Todd Meister.
Shamrakova, 28, had maintained since her February, 2012 embezzlement arrest that the stolen money had actually been “gifts” Meister gratefully gave to her during the course of their business and love relationship.
Today, though, Shamrakova came clean, averting a possible 15-year prison term on grand larceny by promising to pay $821,000 back within two years.
It’s a good deal. Prosecutors last year had said they would agree to nothing less than one year prison. And Shamrakova’s parents are footing the restitution bill by selling a chunk of upstate property, defense lawyer Marc Agnifilo has explained.
“Yes, your honor,” Shamrakova told the judge today, when asked if she had committed grand larceny in the second degree by stealing a sum in excess of $50,000 from Meister, 42.
The unlucky-in-love Meister famously married Paris Hilton’s younger sister, Nicky — his childhood pal — in a Vegas chapel in 2004 after the pair dated just three months. The marriage was annulled even faster, just six weeks later. Meister runs Meister Company LLC and is a co-founder of Priderock Management.
Shamrakova admittedly committed identity theft by taking out two American Express cards — one platinum, one gold — in Meister’s name. She rang up $900,000 in travel to Aruba, Canada, India, Italy and France, and purchased thousands of pieces of jewelry which she sold online for cash.
She’d pay off the cards by writing checks off of Meister’s JPMorgan account — without his permission, prosecutors said.
If Shamrakova fails to make restitution as scheduled, she will be sentenced to serve at least one year prison.