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Omar Sharif Amanat is an American entrepreneur, film producer, and investor in media, technology and hospitality companies.[5][6][7] He was convicted in December 2017 of fraud for his involvement in a scheme that involved a number of companies, including KIT Digital and Enable Invest.[8][9][10] Business Insider reported that he was expected to spend a minimum of 10 years in jail after "a striking fall from power".[11]

Omar Amanat
ResidenceShort Hills, New Jersey, U.S.[1]
NationalityAmerican
EducationMontville High School[2][3]
OccupationEntrepreneur
Home townQueens, New York, U.S.[4]
New Jersey[4]

EducationEdit

Amanat grew up in Montville, New Jersey and was educated at Montville High School.[2] He later enrolled at Franklin and Marshall College and transferred to the University of Pennsylvania.[12]

CareerEdit

He began at startup Datek Online[13] and afterwards he moved to Texas and partnered with Philip Berber on a prototype online trading system called Cyber-Block,[14] which was acquired by Charles Schwab for $488 million in 2000, before moving to New York to start Tradescape,[15] of which he was the founder, chief executive and majority shareholder.[16] In 2002, E*Trade acquired Tradescape for $276 million.[17]

Entertainment industryEdit

Amanat is the co-founder of Peak Group Holdings which is the largest shareholder of The Twilight Saga studio Summit Entertainment, in which he holds a 20% ownership stake via Peak Group Holdings.[18] Brent Lang of The Wrap called him "the most powerful person in Hollywood you've never heard of".[18] Summit was acquired by Hunger Games studio Lionsgate for $412.5 million and Peak became one of its largest shareholders,[19] with a 48% stake.[20]

He was the executive producer of the 2007 drama The Visitor and the 2008 comedy drama Smart People[21][22] not including approximately 75 other films he financed via Summit Entertainment from 2007-2012.

Aman ResortsEdit

In February 2014, Amanat co-founded with Adrian Zecha a new venture known as Aman Resorts Group Limited (ARGL) backed by a consortium of investors led by Vladislav Doronin. This new entity purchased luxury hotel and resort chain Aman Resorts from DLF for $360 million.[23]

In July 2014, Amanat filed suit in the High Court of London against Vladislav Doronin, claiming Doronin committed breaches of a shareholders' agreement and forced the unlawful ouster of Adrian Zecha as CEO. Amanat claimed the decision to remove Zecha did not have board approval. The ruling, by the High Court, which was reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, reinstated Zecha as CEO, which was viewed as a victory for Amanat.[24] Two days later, Doronin filed a counterclaim in New York,[25] but the judge ruled that the lawsuit must be decided in England.[26] In July 2014, London's High Court permitted a board decision which replaced Zecha with Olivier Jolivet to stand.[27]

In March 2016 the High Court in London published an order which confirmed the settlement between Doronin and Amanat, ousting Amanat from the Aman Resorts ownership group.[28]

LitigationEdit

Amanat has been involved in a number of high-profile lawsuits during his career:

  • Shortly after the acquisition of Tradescape by E*Trade, litigation commenced between MarketXT and E*Trade alleging fraud on the part of the other.[29]
  • Summit Entertainment withdrew and retracted its threat against Amanat that he had "misrepresented that he's involved in the ownership, management, decision-making, and operations".[30] Relating to the same Amanat filed libel proceedings against British newspapers who called him an imposter in relation to his claims of involvement with Summit Entertainment, which led to them apologising, publishing a retraction and making payments to a charity of Amanat's choice.[31] Summit Entertainments's CEO and Chairman issued letters to Amanat confirming his ownership and control of a board seat.
  • The disputes relating to the ownership and control of Aman Resorts have led to litigation in both New York[32] and London.[33]
  • Amanat was also involved in lawsuits in connection with Bridges TV.[34]

BankruptcyEdit

In 2004 a bankruptcy petition was lodged against Amanat.[35] The circumstances of the filing were highly unusual. Fortune reported the following transcript of Judge Alan Gropper:[35]

You might certainly be interested in reading how Mr. Amanat started off his Chapter 7 case, which was absolutely extraordinary. He induced his chauffeur to file an involuntary petition against him on the theory that, well, in an involuntary [bankruptcy] he could get an automatic stay against a number of creditors who are going against him, but it wouldn't stop him from engaging in whatever transactions he wanted to ... I made no finding there that he had perjured himself ... on the first occasion that he appeared before this court. So I'm not saying I make any such finding now, but you can draw your own conclusions.

The bankruptcy petition was subsequently dismissed, as was a subsequent appeal against its dismissal by Amanat.[36] Fortune also reported that "[b]efore the case was over, the bankruptcy judge, Gropper, found that Amanat executed fraudulent conveyances, deceived creditors, and backdated documents."[35]

Arrest and convictionEdit

In July 2016 Amanat was arrested as part of the conspiracy case against former technology IPTV company KIT Digital.[37][38] Prosecutors asserted that Amanat with Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, Stephen E. Maiden and an unnamed individual used an investment vehicle controlled by Tuzman to purchase KIT Digital shares.[37] Maiden was sentenced in February 2015 to seven years in prison on a separate matter;[37] Tuzman served time in prison in Colombia and was extradited to the U.S. to face charges.[39][40][41] Former Chief Financial Officer Robin Smyth pleaded guilty to criminal charges in March 2016 and has been assisting prosecutors.[38] Amanat previously sued Tuzman asserting breach of contract. The fraud trial commenced in October 2017.[12] The prosecution accused Omanat of "lies upon lies" in their opening statements in relation to the fraud allegations.[42] Defense lawyers accused the prosecution's star witness Stephen E Maiden of having high-ranking DOJ ties and of losing most of his funds money before investing in Kit.[43]

In December 2017, Amanat was found guilty of defrauding Kit investors along with his associate Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, the former KIT Digital CEO. Tuzman and Amanat had been accused of conspiring to inflate KIT's trading volume and share price between 2008 and 2011 in an effort to hide their devastating losses.[44] The verdict came after 6 weeks of trial. Three government witnesses who pleaded guilty, including two former KIT executives and a disgraced hedge-fund founder, told jurors of related frauds being directed by Tuzman and Amanat in an effort to hide their disastrous investment losses.[8]

PhilanthropyEdit

Amanat has been a board member of Human Rights Watch, Malaria No More,[45][46] The Acumen Fund and the Ad Council[47] and worked as a spokesman for Bridges TV before its debut,[48] where he advocated for Muslims to undo negative misperceptions of themselves in media.[49] He co-founded a film fund affiliated with the United Nations called the Alliance of Civilizations Media Fund[50] Amanat commissioned Harvard Medical School to research the physiological effects on minorities who watch images of violence being perpetrated on fellow minorities.[51][52]

He has been an executive producer of films including The Visitor,[53] Darfur Now,[53] Smart People,[53] and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.[53]

Personal lifeEdit

Amanat has three children with ex-wife Helena Houdová,[4][54][12] He is the first cousin of Hillary Clinton's longtime aide Huma Abedin.[55]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Whitehouse, Kaja (14 July 2016). "Omar Amanat can't afford to make bail". New York Post. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Busy Boonton Township recreation, Denville PBA hosts dance". newjerseyhills.com. 20 October 2005. Retrieved 17 July 2016. This year, Omar Amanat, Class of 1990;...
  3. ^ "Hall of Fame / Welcome". montville.net. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 2005 Omar Amanat
  4. ^ a b c "The Global Battle for the World's Most Exclusive Hotel Chain". fortune.com. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  5. ^ "New York entrepreneur Amanat indicted for fraud scheme". Reuters. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  6. ^ Perman, Stacy. "The Mystery Behind Wall Street's Wildest Party". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  7. ^ Reuters. "New Arrest in Fraud Probe of Bankrupt Video Tech Firm". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-07-16. ...and Omar Amanat, an investor in media, finance and technology companies who is Irfan Amanat's brother.
  8. ^ a b "Ex-KIT CEO, Socialite Convicted at Fraud Trial". Bloomberg. 26 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Tech Entrepreneurs Convicted of Fraud". The Wall Street Journal. 29 December 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  10. ^ Benjamin Brown (29 December 2017). "Huma Abedin's cousin convicted in fraud case involving fake emails". Fox News. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  11. ^ Zoë Bernard (30 December 2017). "Lawsuits, lies, and Colombian prisons: The downfall of two wildly successful tech entrepreneurs". Business Insider. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  12. ^ a b c Erik Larson and Christian Berthelsen (30 October 2017). "Tech Entrepreneur's Trial Is Biggest Battle of a Glossy Career". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Street courts day trade firms". CNN Money. 25 February 2000.
  14. ^ "Healthcare Providers and Services: Company Overview of Malaria No More". Bloomberg Business Week.
  15. ^ Matthew Goldstein Tradescape Becomes a Contender SmartMoney. March 13, 2000. Accessed February 9, 2011.
  16. ^ "Firm to Offer Cash for Stock Orders". The New York Times. 21 February 2001. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  17. ^ "E*Trade Shareholder Filing: S.E.C 10-Q Quarterly Report" (PDF). shareholder.com. June 30, 2002.
  18. ^ a b Brent Lang (March 14, 2011). "Summit Investor's Libel Suit Reveals Omar Amanat's Control" The Wrap Accessed August 5, 2011.
  19. ^ Alex Ben Block (1/13/2012). [1].
  20. ^ "Lionsgate Close to Deal to Buy Summit; Friedman and Wachsberger Likely to Remain". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  21. ^ Alex Ben Block (10 March 2011). "Summit Investor Sues Brit Tabloids for Calling Him 'Impostor' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  22. ^ "Omar Amanat". IMDb. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  23. ^ Wrathall, Claire. "Aman for all seasons". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  24. ^ "London Court Rules Doronin Must Step Down as Amanresorts CEO - WSJ". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  25. ^ "Russian Real Estate Investor Doronin Sues Amanresorts Partner". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  26. ^ Johnson, Richard (17 December 2014). "Doronin forced to move Aman Resort case back to UK". Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  27. ^ "London's High Court Permits Aman Group's Board to Remove CEO". Luxury Hotel Acquisitions. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  28. ^ Rizzo, Lillian (2016-03-14). "Aman Resorts Owner Doronin Scores Legal Wins in Long-Running Dispute". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  29. ^ Erin Marie Daly. "Judge OKs Fraud Suits In E-Trade, MarketXT Spat". Law 360. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  30. ^ "Summit Threatens Litigation Over 'Twilight' "Misrepresentations"". Deadline. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  31. ^ Brent Lang (14 July 2011). "Summit investor Omar Amanat wins tabloid settlement". Reuters. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  32. ^ Tiffany Kary (10 March 2016). "Battle for Aman Luxury Resorts Spills Over Into New York". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  33. ^ "Judge turns down preliminary claim in international hotel chain battle". The Caterer. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  34. ^ Jay Tokasz (20 December 2004). "MUSLIM TV NETWORK DEBUTED AMID LITIGATION". The Buffalo News. Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  35. ^ a b c "The global battle for the ultimate luxury hotel chain". Fortune. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  36. ^ "In Re: Omar Sharif Amanat". www.plainsite.org. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  37. ^ a b c "Omar Amanat Arrested and Charged as Kit Digital Case Widens". Bloomberg. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  38. ^ a b Bob Van Voris and Christian Berthelsen (19 July 2016). "Fraud Charges Cloud Entrepreneur's Story of His Success". Bloomberg. Retrieved 20 July 2016.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  39. ^ plainsite
  40. ^ "The Man Who Went From Harvard to Goldman to Colombian Jail". Bloomberg. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  41. ^ Raymond, Nate. "New York entrepreneur Amanat indicted for fraud scheme". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  42. ^ Stewart Bishop (30 October 2017). "Feds Tell Of Lies Upon Lies As KIT Digital Trial Opens". Law 360. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  43. ^ "Ponzi Schemer's DOJ Ties Might Hurt Credibility at Trial". Bloomberg. 6 November 2017.
  44. ^ "Omar Amanat found guilty of defrauding startup". PageSix. 26 December 2017.
  45. ^ "Blood-Stained Hands". hrw.org. 7 July 2005. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  46. ^ "Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax" (PDF). malarianomore.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-03-17. Retrieved 2015-06-24.
  47. ^ "Advisory Committee". Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  48. ^ Jay Tokasz (December 20, 2004). "Muslim TV Network Debuted Amid Litigation". Buffalo News. p. B.3.
  49. ^ News aljazeerah.info: First American Muslim Television Channel Announced by Bridges Network Archived August 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  50. ^ Oprah Winfrey "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-02-16. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  51. ^ Ten Young Visionaries "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2012-08-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  52. ^ "Research Base for the High-level Group Report Analysis on Media" (PDF). UN Alliance of Civilizations Research.
  53. ^ a b c d "Omar Amanat". Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  54. ^ "Helena Houdová: Jejího exmanžela zatkla policie pro rozsáhlé podvody - iHOT.cz" (in Czech). ihot.cz. Retrieved 17 July 2016. Potkala ale bohatého podnikatele Omara Amanata, kterého si vzala, porodila mu tři děti, dala se na raw stravu a po rozpadu manželství se zhroutila.
  55. ^ "Tech Entrepreneur's Trial Is Biggest Battle of Career". Bloomberg. 30 October 2017.

External linksEdit