A woman convicted of embezzling almost $1 million from New York financier Todd Meister made a rather glamorous appearance in court today.
The woman, 28-year-old Renata Shamrakova, showed up to court with freshly styled hair, a fur-lined jacket, and a two carat ring on her finger. Despite her high dollar look, Shamrakova told reporters that she is broke. She faces 1-3 years in prison if she fails to repay half of the $810,000 she owes by Dec. 19.
Shamrakova embezzled the money while working as a personal assistant to Meister. She was found guilty of opening two credit cards in his name and taking trips to Aruba, Canada, France, and Italy on his dime. She also bought hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and clothes using checks written from Meister’s account.
At earlier court dates, Shamrakova’s legal team unsuccessfully argued that the two were romantically involved and that all of her purchases were approved by Meister. Meister’s legal team shot down the claim by pointing out the lack of any evidence backing up the statement.
In an interview, the New York Post recommended Shamrakova sell her expensive engagement ring, but she refused, saying “It wouldn’t come close (to satisfying the debt.)” Her parents are now frantically trying to sell their upstate New York home before the December 19th deadline.
Meister, you may remember, was married to hotel heiress Nikki Hilton for a fleeting 85 days before their marriage was annulled.