NATIONAL NEWS

Two Florida men plead guilty to insider trading charges related to taking Trump media firm public

Apr 3, 2024, 10:19 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Two Florida brothers pleaded guilty Wednesday to insider trading charges, admitting making over $22 million illegally before the public announcement in 2021 that an acquisition firm was taking former President Donald Trump’s media company public.

Michael and Gerald Shvartsman entered their pleas to a single count of securities fraud in Manhattan federal court, where Judge Lewis J. Liman set sentencing for July 17.

The men said that they knew they were committing a crime when they made trades in October 2021 through a New York broker.

“I’ve made a terrible mistake,” Gerald Shvartsman told the judge as he pleaded guilty. He added that it was “wrong and the mistake I will pay for dearly the rest of my life.”

His brother told the judge that he knew that his securities trades were wrong and illegal.

The indictment against them did not in any way implicate Trump — who is again seeking the presidency this year — or Trump Media & Technology Group, which owns his Truth Social platform and began trading on the Nasdaq stock market on March 26. Trump has a 60% stake in the company.

According to the indictment, the men invested millions of dollars in the securities of the special purpose acquisition company Digital World Acquisition Corp. after they were tipped off that a potential target of DWAC and another acquisition company, Benessere Capital Acquisition Corp., was Trump Media.

Authorities said the defendants sold their securities for $22 million in profits once the news about the Trump Media business was made public.

At the time, Michael Shvartsman owned Rocket One Capital LLC, a venture capital firm, according to court papers.

According to court papers, the men shared their secrets with friends and employees, who also bought tens of thousands of units of securities ahead of the merger announcement with Trump Media & Technology Group. Typically, a special purpose acquisition company is formed with the intent to merge with a private company.

The merger and public trading of Trump Media & Technology Group was eagerly anticipated by Trump’s political supporters, who viewed the Truth Social platform as a worthy response to Trump’s temporary ejection from some social media platforms after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Michael Shvartsman, 53, of Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, and his brother Gerald Shvartsman, 46, of Aventura, Florida, remain free on bail while they await their sentencings. They were both arrested last June.

Federal sentencing guidelines in plea letters signed by the men recommended that Michael Shvartsman receive about four years in prison and his brother spend at least three years behind bars. The deals also call for Michael Schvartsman to forfeit $18.2 million in profits and for his brother to relinquish $4.6 million.

In a release, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Insider trading is cheating, plain and simple, and today’s convictions should remind anyone who may be tempted to corrupt the integrity of the stock market that it will earn them a ticket to prison.”

National News

Associated Press

New Hampshire Gov. Sununu signs bill banning transgender girls from girls’ sports

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire has signed a bill that would ban transgender athletes in grades 5-12 from teams that align with their gender identity, adding the state to nearly half in the nation that adopted similar measures. The bill passed by the Republican-led Legislature would require schools to […]

33 minutes ago

Associated Press

2024 Election Latest: Growing chorus of Democratic lawmakers call for Biden to drop reelection bid

A rapidly growing chorus of Democratic lawmakers called Friday for President Joe Biden to drop his reelection bid, even as the president insisted he’s read y to return to the campaign trail next week to counter what he called a “dark vision” laid out by Republican Donald Trump. As more Democratic members of Congress urged […]

39 minutes ago

Jungle Cruise Skipper Gabriel Ramos keeps up the Jungle Cruise-style humor as he joins other Disney...

Associated Press

Disneyland workers authorize potential strike ahead of continued contract negotiations

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of workers at Disney’s theme park and resort properties in California voted late Friday to authorize a potential strike, as contract negotiations drag on. The strike authorization was approved by an overwhelming margin, nearly 99% of the members who cast votes according to a union statement. The election was held […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Se...

Associated Press

This is how Secret Service protection has changed for presidents over the years

WASHINGTON (AP) — During Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, anyone could come to the White House and see him. Come they did: mothers looking to have their sons released from military service, wives urging that their husbands be freed from prison after resisting the draft, others who simply wanted to meet the president. “Some only wanted comfort […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Deborah Moody, an administrative clerk at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Anchora...

Associated Press

Alaska election officials to recalculate signatures for ranked vote repeal measure after court order

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A state court judge on Friday disqualified numerous booklets used to gather signatures for an initiative that aims to repeal Alaska’s ranked choice voting system and gave elections officials a deadline to determine if the measure still had sufficient signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The decision by Superior Court […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

UN approves more transparent procedures for people and entities to get off its sanctions lists

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved more transparent procedures Friday for the hundreds of individuals, companies and other entities who are subject to U.N. sanctions and want to get off the blacklists. The resolution, co-sponsored by Malta and the United States, also authorizes the establishment of a new informal working […]

9 hours ago

Two Florida men plead guilty to insider trading charges related to taking Trump media firm public