A Platinum Story -de Blasio Unscathed

 

The Real Deal

De Blasio won’t face federal, state charges in fundraising probe

News comes just days after Preet Bharara was fired

Mayor Bill de Blasio won’t be facing federal or state criminal charges for fundraising activities tied to his now defunct Campaign for One New York, officials announced on Thursday.

“After careful deliberation, given the totality of the circumstances here and absent additional evidence, we do not intend to bring federal criminal charges against the Mayor or those acting on his behalf relating to the fundraising efforts in question,” acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim announced on Thursday.

The investigations hinged on whether de Blasio solicited donations from developers and others who had business before the city in exchange for political favors. In October, the New York Time’s reported that Jona Rechnitz, the real estate developer at the center of the NYPD corruption scandal, was cooperating with authorities. The mayor was accused of giving a retired police official a high-level position in his administration after Rechnitz called him and requested the appointment as a “personal favor.” The federal investigation was conducted by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office led the state probe.

In his announcement, District Attorney Cyrus Vance stated that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the mayor violated state election laws in his efforts to help Democrats take over the Republican-controlled state Senate. The investigation focused on whether he wrongfully sidestepped contribution limits to individual candidates by directing donations to upstate county committees. Vance said, however, that the actions “appear contrary to the intent and spirit of the laws that impose candidate contribution limits.”

Kim noted the unusual nature of announcing that his office wouldn’t pursue criminal charges, saying that, in this case, it was appropriate to not “unduly influence the upcoming campaign and Mayoral election.” The announcement comes just a few days after President Donald Trump fired Preet Bharara from his post as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The decision not to prosecute clears what was a black cloud over the mayor’s re-election campaign. It remains to be seen if potential Democratic challengers who were waiting on the sidelines as the investigation dragged on will now step aside. Meanwhile, Republican mayoral candidate and Cushman & Wakefield executive Paul Massey announced Wednesday that he raised twice as much as de Blasio since Jan. 12.

Continue Reading here.

Our Estimation? Follow the Money… Platinum Files Bankruptcy

Platinum.3

EMERGENCY TRIAGE?  We say, “FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!”:

Detractors are calling it “emergency triage” and we could not agree more. We only hope that the Federal authorities get it right on this one and start checking private accounts for Platinum principles and major investors past and present, Murray Huberfled, Mark Nordlicht, Brian Jedwab, etc., their respective families, trusts, associates and friends.

 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTS:

Platinum Partners’ Flagship Hedge Fund Files for Bankruptcy – WSJ
http://s.wsj.net/javascript/ie8-vendor-libs.js

Platinum Partners’ Flagship Hedge Fund Files for Bankruptcy

The fund, which is facing a federal fraud investigation, files for chapter 15 protection

 
http://s.wsj.net/javascript/ie8-vendor-libs.js

Platinum Partners’ flagship hedge fund, which faces a federal fraud investigation, filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday.

The filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan notes that Platinum “is experiencing severe and substantial liquidity problems that threaten to result in the devaluation of the funds’ assets.”

Platinum filed for chapter 15 protection, the section of the U.S. code that deals with international insolvency. Platinum’s flagship fund, like many of its peers, has operations in the Cayman Islands.


http://s.wsj.net/javascript/ie8-vendor-libs.js

Platinum recorded one of the most impressive performance records in the hedge-fund world until this summer, when it announced it would liquidate. It said at the time it had $1.25 billion under management. It hasn’t yet handed back the money.

The fund’s liquidators said in the filing they are conducting “emergency triage” to protect the fund amid concurrent investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice.

 

To read the article in its entirety click, here.

 

For Further Reading:

Platinum Partners’ Flagship Hedge Fund Files for Bankruptcy – WSJ
http://s.wsj.net/javascript/ie8-vendor-libs.js

Famed J.P. Morgan Building at 23 Wall Street in Play – and Urinating Bosses…

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23 Wall Street – Our Theories

We have written on the famed J.P. Morgan piece of property more times than perhaps any other Blog. We have written on the various Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg properties/investments/shady dealings. We have written about Chetrit and Bistricer, China Sonangol, Queensway, Angola. The story below from “The Real Deal” almost feels like something we could have written. But, of course, we didn’t.

The new buyer, as you will see below from the article on the bottom of the page, Jack Terzi, lacks certain social graces (or did in 2012). He apparently was an abusive boss who, according to reports in the NY Daily News from 2012, engaged in bizarre behavior. In the interest of full disclosure, his employees at his yogurt shops felt that he was “strictly business” and “humble.” Hard to tell.

We can say this:

It would not surprise us if nestled within the many companies listed on the Africa-Israel website with reference to the Israel Stock Exchange we were to find the new J.P. Morgan buyer’s name, his company or some financial/management synergy with Africa Israel and perhaps concurrently with China Sonangol. It will take a while to find and some might write this one off as a leap. We don’t think so.

It is a Buyer’s market not a Seller’s market in Manhattan right now (if the comment about the losses below by The Real Deal is any indication). China Sonangol/Africa-Israel/Sam Pa/ want out of New York but we doubt they would take a financial loss. We think that it will prove to be anything but a loss.

AFI Group

The company is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
For more information, please press on the image below.

Click here for more information

Subsidiaries:

Africa Israel Properties
Click here for more information
Africa Israel Residences
Click here for more information
 Danya Cebus
 Click here for more information
 Africa Israel Industries
 Click here for more information
 Negev Ceramics
 Click here for more information
Dor Alon
Click here for more information
Blue Square
Click here for more information

 

 

Paydirt: The Compass unicorn, a more modest buyer pool, 23 Wall in play … & more

Billionaires hiding? We’ll take the millionaires: Compass’ valuation comes at a time when Manhattan’s high-end residential market is taking body blows. Developers finally seem willing to accept things aren’t where they were in 2014. They’re either offering fat discounts (Extell at One Manhattan Square, World Wide Group and Rose Associates at 252 East 57th Street), pushing sales back (JDS & PMG at 111 West 57th Street) or abandoning ship (Witkoff at Park Lane, Chetrit & Bistricer at the Sony Building).  “The next two years will be the year of the deal,” PMG’s Kevin Maloney told Bloomberg.

Developers who set their sights a little more main street have been faring better: Condos priced between $500,000 and $999,000 have sold five times as fast as their $10 million-and-up counterparts, according to a Miller Samuel analysis of a decade of residential sales.

You don’t know Jack: JTRE’s Jack Terzi is in contract to buy 23 Wall Street, a landmarked property that was once the headquarters of J.P. Morgan & Co. – it was dubbed the “House of Morgan” — but of late has been a pox on Lower Manhattan. The long-vacant building is owned by the shadowy China Sonangol, a joint venture between Sam Pa’s Queensway Group and the nation of Angola — go figure. Sources told the New York Post that Terzi will be buying the property at a discount to the $150 million Sonangol paid for it in 2008. That’s hard to fathom, except for the fact that Pa is under investigation for allegations of financial crimes, according to the FT.

Terzi, who grew up in Gravesend and cut his teeth at Hidrock Realty, has made a number of splashy acquisitions of late, including a number of $20 million-plus buys in Midtown East. But this deal, if he does close on it, elevates him to a different level — giving him control of more than 130,000 square feet in the heart of Lower Manhattan.

 

Sam-Pa-23-Wall-Street (1)

 

THE NEW YORK POST:

http://nypost.com/2016/08/30/long-vacant-wall-street-landmark-sold-to-retail-developer/

 

For a tall tale about how China Sonangol may or may not have come to its original purchase through individuals mixed up in the NYPD scandals, read The Post’s Steve Cuozzo’s story from July 4.

The 160,000 square feet stretches from the landmarked 23 Wall St. where banker Morgan once had his private offices, around the sloped corner to portions of the base floors of 33 Wall and 15 Broad St.

The stone fortress has been touted as a retail play for years, but it’s stood mostly dark — due to absentee ownership and landmark-related restrictions.

Prospective deals to lease it to Brooks Brothers and a multi-media event company fell through but Hermes has been a tenant since 2007.

The upper stories of 15 Broad next door were converted into apartments.

JACK TERZI – NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ex-worker-suing-real-estate-boss-jack-terzi-5-million-abuse-fines-urinating-article-1.1134148

 

Ex-worker suing real estate boss, Jack Terzi, for $5 million for abuse, fines, and urinating

A foul-mouthed boss from hell unzipped more than his lip in torturing his young assistant.

Brash real estate broker Jack Terzi urinated on the underling’s clothes during a three-year reign of terror in their Manhattan office, according to a astonishing new lawsuit.

The allegedly abusive broker was accused by ex-employee Albert Sultan of abuse that included cutting four-letter insults, sharp flying objects and bizarre fines.

Sultan, hired shortly after Terzi launched his company in 2009, “became emotionally distraught, was humiliated and embarrassed … by the systematic and continuous unlawful harassment,” charged the 15-page suit filed Wednesday.

Court papers contain a cruel recital of Terzi’s perverse management style, including the time he “urinated on a garment” belonging to Sultan as others watched.

Terzi was accused of throwing a shoe and a pair of scissors at his young assistant, hurling insults like “f—— idiot” and “piece of s—“ — and repeatedly “sneezing in (Sultan’s) face in a contemptuous fashion.”

Terzi, in a countersuit, charged Sultan was a conniving backstabber who launched his own business with confidential information stolen from Jack Terzi Real Estate.

Sultan, of Eatontown, N.J., declined further discussion about his ex-boss.

 

 

Apthorp Sitts and Rechnitz Ruins… We Think Not…

anthrop

THOR EQUITIES SCOOPING UP VALUABLE PROPERTIES FOR NEXT TO NOTHING… JONA RECHNITZ AND JSR CAPITAL… WHAT’S THEIR YIELD???? 

 

WE ARE GOING ON A THEORY:

Tell us…

What happens to a building when it is leased or sold at below market rates?

The value of that building and all of the units in that building fall, drop, sink, use your word of choice.

What happens then?

Well… An Equity firm goes in and saves the day, buying 70 units for far below market value.

So, did Jona Rechnitz ruin market efforts or did he purposely sabotage marketing efforts so that the building would be worthless?

And, who owns the building anyway…???

In our view, Jona Rechnitz is nothing if not very, very predictable. We believe that the news articles that follow in large part missed the point. Jona Rechnitz did not ruin a building because he failed. Quite the contrary, he succeeded. Thor Equities got a steal…. And, if Rechnitz was involved, there is money behind the deals closed to sink the value of the units in that building.

What commonalities can we find?

we are looking…

Jona Rechnitz ruined marketing efforts at the Apthorp: report

Continue reading

Platinum Partners Under Investigation… It’s About Time…

 

Fraud Probe Ricochets Through Platinum Partners, a Hedge Fund With Ties to Jewish Community

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

http://www.wsj.com/articles/fraud-investigation-ricochets-through-hedge-fund-known-for-ties-to-jewish-community-1469439181

For his son’s bar mitzvah in 2008, hedge-fund manager Murray Huberfeld chartered a JetBlue plane and invited hundreds to an oceanfront party in Palm Beach, Fla. An Orthodox pop star known as the “Jewish Elvis” entertained the guests, who Mr. Huberfeld says included investors in his fund.
Intimate ties and fundraising inside a close-knit world of observant Jewish businesspeople in New York, Florida and Israel are central to the $1.25 billion hedge-fund firm Mr. Huberfeld has helped lead, Platinum Partners. Now those ties are being tested as two sets of federal prosecutors as well as securities regulators delve into Platinum’s operations.
In early June, Mr. Huberfeld was arrested in connection with an alleged scheme to bribe a union leader to funnel $20 million to Platinum. Later in June, federal agents raided Platinum’s New York offices.
An issue for investigators now, according to those familiar with their probe, isn’t just alleged bribery but the integrity of Platinum itself: It is also a fraud investigation.
Platinum has recorded some of the most impressive numbers in the hedge-fund world, double-digit average annual returns for over a decade.
Beginning around 2012, however, with some investors wanting their money back, Platinum began borrowing heavily. According to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the firm, Platinum borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars, some of it at double-digit interest rates.
In one instance, it paid interest to a lender part-owned by family-member trusts of Mr. Huberfeld and Mark Nordlicht, Platinum’s founder and chief investment officer.
In June, Platinum suspended redemptions from its flagship fund and stopped giving performance updates. It moved to liquidate the fund and discussed plans to repay investors but didn’t commit to giving to them cash matching the full investment gains the firm has reported. Last week, Platinum said it would also liquidate the rest of the firm.
Investigators now are looking into whether, before the suspension, Platinum had been paying some reported investment gains to exiting investors with money from incoming ones, according to people familiar with the probe.
They also are scrutinizing the firm’s service providers, including auditors who certified its figures.
Platinum has invested in exotic assets that can be hard to value, such as loans to struggling companies and annuities linked to ill patients’ lives. Among questions investigators seek to answer is whether Platinum misstated values of some holdings, the people familiar with the probe said.
Platinum spokesman Montieth Illingworth defended the firm’s auditing and valuation methods and said it stands behind its performance record.
On specific investigative points, he said, “It is incorrect to imply that past payouts to investors were specifically made with new allocations.”
He also said money wasn’t borrowed to meet redemptions. “Past redemptions were paid out of cash gains from the positions we invested in,” Mr. Illingworth said.
Platinum said it expects to begin repaying investors in 2017. A person close to the firm said it hopes eventually to pay back all $1.25 billion, or more, with further investment gains.
Under investigation in addition to the firm is Mr. Nordlicht, said people familiar with the probe. The spokesman said they are cooperating with investigations. No one other than Mr. Huberfeld has been accused of wrongdoing.
To read the article in its entirety click here.

A Platinum Investigation

 

Thompson

EQUITY ALERT: Rosen Law Firm Announces Investigation of Securities Claims on Behalf of Investors in Platinum Partners Funds

 

NEW YORK –(BUSINESS WIRE)

Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, announces it is investigating potential securities claims on behalf of investors in Platinum Partners’ funds resulting from allegations that Platinum Partners may have issued materially misleading business information to the investing public.

On June 8, 2016 news outlets reported that a manager at Platinum Partners, Murray Huberfeld, was arrested for allegedly bribing a union leader in exchange for an investment in Platinum Partners. According to the criminal complaint, Huberfeld is a founder and part owner of Platinum Partners and he may have been playing a leading role at Platinum Partners that was not publicly acknowledged by the firm. On June 22, 2016, agents from the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service raided the headquarters of Platinum Partners. On July 25, 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that federal agents are not only investigating alleged bribery at the fund, but are investigating the fund for fraud. According to The Wall Street Journal, federal agents are probing whether Platinum Partners misstated values of some of its holdings, probing the firm’s service providers, including auditors who certified its figures, and probing whether, before Platinum Partners suspended redemptions of its main fund, Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage Fund, Platinum Partners had been paying some reported investment gains to exiting investors with money from incoming investors.

Rosen Law Firm is preparing a class action lawsuit to recover losses suffered from investors in Platinum Partners funds. If you invested with Platinum Partners please visit the firm’s website athttp://rosenlegal.com/cases-924.html for more information. You may also contact Phillip Kim, Esq. or Kevin Chan, Esq. of Rosen Law Firm toll free at 866-767-3653 or via email atpkim@rosenlegal.com or kchan@rosenlegal.com.

Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation.

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Preet Bharara Comes to Westchester to get more R&R?

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Preet Bharara expands corruption probe to Westchester

http://nypost.com/2016/07/25/preet-bharara-expands-corruption-probe-to-westchester/

US Attorney Preet Bharara’s corruption probe into the dealings of two shady businessmen and donors to Mayor de Blasio has expanded to Westchester County, The Post has learned.

Bharara has subpoenaed the offices of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino about dealings with de Blasio financial backers Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, who have been linked to recent city pay-to-play scandals.

FBI agents also recently quizzed politically wired cabby advocate Fernando Mateo, who introduced Rechnitz and Reichberg to Astorino, according to a source familiar with the inquiry.

Reichberg, a Brooklyn resident who had no known previous ties to Westchester County, was named a volunteer county police chaplain in June 2013.

A few days later, entities tied to his pal Rechnitz donated $25,000 to Astorino’s re-election campaign.

Preet Bharara

During a recent visit to Mateo’s Irvington home, the FBI grilled him about the businessmen’s ties to Astorino as well as de Blasio, according to a source familiar with the interrogation.

“The FBI agents wanted to know everything they could about the Astorino relationships with Rechnitz and Reichberg,” the source said.

Mateo, a Latino civil leader, supported Astorino’s re-election in 2013 and was appointed to the Westchester County Police Advisory Board.

Mateo also is in hot water after admitting to The Post that he secretly bundled campaign money to the de Blasio campaign through an unemployed Brooklyn woman.

Mateo declined to comment on the probe.

Astorino confirmed his office has been blitzed with subpoenas from Bharara’s office.

“Yes. Informational subpoenas were issued to the county executive, the county police, and the county itself, which is no surprise given the need to get all available background
in an investigation involving so many city figures,” said Astorino spokesman Bill O’Reilly.

“Everything requested was turned over in a timely manner, and we’re happy to be helpful in any way going forward.”

Astorino claims he has done nothing wrong.

But the fact that Bharara’s probers are snooping around Westchester is not welcome news to the pol.

Astorino was the Republican Party’s nominee for governor in 2014, losing to the Democratic incumbent, Gov. Cuomo. He is considering running for governor again in 2018.

Reichberg was indicted in an NYPD scandal, in which he allegedly provided cops cash, free trips and even a prostitute for a Super Bowl bash.

Rechnitz has become a government cooperator in the case that has ensnared and disgraced a growing number of top-ranking cops in what has become the worst corruption scandal to hit the department in decades. Four officers have already been charged.

To read the complete article click here.