Hedge fund manager Gregory Blotnick accused of COVID scam, held on $ 500,000 bond
Hedge fund manager charged with 33 counts of robbery and fraud for allegedly stealing millions of dollars in loans from the COVID-19 paycheck protection program was ordered to pay $ 500,000 bail when he appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Gregory Blotnick, 33, allegedly snatched $ 4.6 million from the PPP program by filing multiple fraudulent loan applications for his New York-based groups, Brattle Street Capital LLC and BSC Management LLC over a one-year period, said the state attorneys.
He is accused of lying about the number of employees at his companies and claiming that he needed the funds to cover the payroll. Instead, he transferred the money to a brokerage account – and lost millions on the stock market, prosecutors said.
Blotnick, a resident of West Palm Beach, Fla., Pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and was held on $ 500,000 cash bond, which his lawyers say he cannot afford.
Prosecutors pleaded for a bigger bail, saying Blotnick is a runaway risk who tried to leave the country in April.
Defense attorneys argued the fund manager was broke and had just completed a drug treatment program and was now taking medication for bipolar disorder as they pleaded for leniency .
Blotnick faces eight and a half to 25 years in prison if convicted.
“Mr. Blotnick has repeatedly taken advantage of a system intended to provide lifelines for small businesses and their employees during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,” District Attorney Cy Vance wrote in a statement. . Press release when Blotnick was charged in April.
The financier also faces federal charges for stealing nearly $ 4 million from the program by forging loan applications for three other companies.
Blotnick wasted that ill-gotten money to buy more than $ 3 million in losing stock trades, federal prosecutors said.
“The Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners remain committed to prosecuting and holding accountable fraudsters who treat COVID-19 relief programs like a personal piggy bank,” Acting U.S. Prosecutor Rachael said Honig for the District of New Jersey. wrote in May.
Blotnick’s attorney Jason Berland said Blotnick is expected to plead guilty to federal charges next week. He is due to return to Manhattan Criminal Court on October 19.
Neither Blotnick nor Berland could be reached for comment by The Post on Wednesday.