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US drops insider trade lawsuit against two Florida men By Reuters

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© Reuters.

Written by Nate Raymond

BOSTON (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors moved on Monday to dismiss insider trading charges against a Florida hedge fund manager and businessman after their star witness withdrew from an agreement to cooperate with authorities and decided not to testify against one of them.

Boston federal prosecutors last year charged Chris Bortnowski and Ryan Shapiro with placing illegal deals based on tips they received from a friend whose family held investments and leadership roles in retailers such as DSW Corporation .

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That friend was David Schottenstein, the founder of a sunglasses company who pleaded guilty in February after agreeing to cooperate against the two men in Florida.

But Schottenstein last week withdrew from the cooperation agreement, saying he had been advised by psychologists and a therapist that testifying against his friend Shapiro at his May 2023 trial would “exacerbate” his mental health issues.

Prosecutors said Monday that the “unexpected” development warrants dismissal of the case against Bortnowski, co-founder of Sakal Capital Management, and Shapiro, who founded money transfer service JayPay.

Prosecutors left open the possibility of renewing the charges, saying their investigations are continuing.

Martin Weinberg, Shapiro’s attorney, said his client “will do great things in his professional and personal life, now that the ordeal of being a federal criminal defendant is over.”

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Attorneys for Bortnovsky and Schottenstein declined to comment.

Prosecutors said Schottenstein made more than $600,000 in trading in 2017 and 2018 based on inside information he got from a relative about merger announcements and earnings related to DSW, now called Designer Brands (NYSE:) Inc; Aphria (NASDAQ:) Inc; and Rite Aid (NYSE: Corp.).

Near sat on DSW’s boards Green Growth Brands (OTC:), which followed up on a failed bid to acquire Aphria, and the Schottenstein family business were involved in a failed merger involving Rite Aid.

Schottenstein, in turn, broke news of the expected company to his friends, prosecutors and the SEC said, allowing Bortnowski and his fund to make more than $4 million and Shapiro to make $121,000.

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.