Hedge Fund Manager's Former Assistant Needs Your Help

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Back in March, Renata Shamrakova admitted to stealing nearly $1 million from her boss, hedge fund manager Todd Meister, after initially arguing that she was more of a girlfriend than an employee, and therefore entitled to the money, which went towards trips to Aruba, Canada, France and Italy, paying off her credit card debt, and starting "a jewelery curating business called Karat & Ice which she [described as] a 'trusted carrier of authentic quality designer merchandise.'" Now, she needs to raise a large chunk of change by December, or risk doing time. That's where you come in.

Shamrakova has posted an appeal on Go Fund Me, a crowdsourcing site, where she wrote out an emotional plea and posted a black-and-white photo of herself covering her mouth. 'I was held in prison for 13 days without proper medical care or a voice to speak out,' she wrote on the site. 'Some people reading this may think that it is not the best way to raise restitution funds, but I am hopeful that someone will see past the media blitz and conclude that I deserve a second chance to restart my life while there is still an opportunity to do so. 'I am prepared for the backlash and even the opinions of those who think very little of me but am hoping for a rare kind of person to see the potential and be able to provide monetary help.'

Shamrokova needs to raise $425,000 before December 20 in order to avoid jailtime, and then she will be allowed to raise the rest of the money by March 2015. She writes that her parents have taken drastic steps to help her and have put their property in upstate New York up for sale. ‘While I have an entrepreneurial spirit and the right eye to make my own skills come to life, it may not work in time for my plea deal dates and that is why I am making this attempt,’ she wrote on the fundraising page, titled ‘Restitution for Renata’.

Hedge fund manager's assistant who stole nearly $1m from her boss is now asking strangers to help her avoid jail by raising the money to pay back him back [DM]
Earlier: Personal Assistant Wasn’t Stealing From Her Hedge Fund Boss She Was Stealing From Her Hedge Fund Boyfriend, Says Personal Assistant In Her Own Defense

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Personal Assistant Wasn't Stealing From Her Hedge Fund Boss She Was Stealing From Her Hedge Fund Boyfriend, Says Personal Assistant In Her Own Defense

Do you see the distinction? Prosecutors say that when glamorous young Renata Shamrakova spent nearly a million bucks last year jet-setting around the world and buying armloads of jewelry, the funds were stolen from her high-society boss, Todd Meister. Wrong, she says. He was my lover. The 26-year-old aspiring actress pleaded not guilty in Manhattan Superior Court Thursday to charges of grand larceny, identity theft and tampering with evidence. "It's not as clean and neat as the DA is saying," said Mark Agnifilo, the sultry Shamrakova's lawyer. "It's a he said-she said. He said this is a theft. She said it is not, because there was a relationship." Meister, 41, a Harvard Business School grad who founded the multibillion-dollar Priderock hedge fund, was not in court to hear the claim that his personal assistant maxed out his credit cards "with his consent." But afterwards, Meister - who has dated some of the richest women in society and was once briefly married to his childhood pal Nicky Hilton - called it a bunch of nonsense. "She didn't work out of my house, she worked out of my office. I've never even had a meal with her - not even a cup of coffee," Meister said. Hope this clears things up. Glamorous assistant to Nicky Hilton's ex says she didn't steal from tycoon - she was his lover [NYDN]