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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Renata Shamrakova raised $175 of $821,000 restitution needed to keep her out of prison

A hedge fund manager's assistant has now turned to social media in order to raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars she has to pay him in restitution after pleading guilty of grand larceny.

Renata Shamrokova, the 28-year-old personal assistant to Nicky Hilton’s former husband, admitted in court that she stole nearly $1million from him.

Now she is trying to raise the first portion of the mandated $821,000 in restitution that she has to give back to Meister in order to avoid spending a year or two in jail.

She 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.'

In court she confessed to taking out two American Express cards in Meister's name and spending $900,000 traveling to Aruba, Canada, France and Italy.

She also bought thousands of pieces of jewelery which she then sold online for cash and paid off the credit cards by writing checks from her lover's JPMorgan account without his knowledge.

The Ukranian-born swindler spent the money while working as his assistant between March 2011 and January 2012 - and while no court records have identified her employer - it is a well-known fact that it was Meister.

In addition, she tried to spend some of the stolen money on starting up a jewelery curating business called Karat & Ice which she called a 'trusted carrier of authentic quality designer merchandise.'

In court, she tried to argue that she was in a relationship with Mr Meister, but he denied that, saying: ‘The women I date are far more highly educated.’

The New York Daily News reports that 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’.

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