- What Do We Know About P.J. King and Michael Blum? Foul Rumors or the Truth?
There are a lot of rumors concerning Michael Blum and P.J. King. They’re credited with dealing with the criminal world. So, are they really criminals or just successful businessmen who are defamed? Can we believe everything that newspapers write about them? Who are they – the honest entrepreneurs or sly fraudsters? Let’s try to make things clear.
Let’s start at the very beginning. So, the future owner of gorgeous hotels and Asian casinos Michael Alexander Blum was born in Hong Kong in a German family. He worked as a Senior Manager in PayPal Company, German branch. His work in this company has started in 2002 and ended in 2005. After that, he has established the hedge fund management company – Falconhenge Partners. He owned the company for one year, and then it was sold in 2006. Michael Blum owns a financial media Hedgeye Risk Management. He is also involved in the tourism business. This activity has helped him to meet his future wife, Tatyana, who has come to Chinese Macau to study in 2008.
2013 has also brought changes for him because he and his partners have established a venture fund and management company. The main activity of the company was the casino and hotel business in Southeast Asia. Blum’s involvement in the gaming business has arisen the rumors that he is connected to the criminal world.
At this very period, Blum took a fancy of the space industry. This was facilitated by his acquaintance with Richard Branson, the head of Virgin Corporation. Branson’s company was working on private space and suborbital flights projects and Blum decided to become the part of Branson’s team. Blum was quite productive – he has created several space programs, gave lectures on space tourism and even has shot a film about space. At the same time, he has got acquainted with Mr. King.
King has come from an ordinary Irish family of shepherds. His education is closely connected with the space industry because he was studying astronautics and space engineering at the university. Nevertheless, his aim was to become a businessman. His first startup Clockworks International was quite successful and such companies as Apple, IBM, Disney were using the services of King’s company. In a while, a company was sold and some of the company’s board members had even law problems.
After that, King was working in the sphere of investment projects but his activity was rather unsuccessful for the companies he was working with. He owned the investment fund called P.J. King Investments Ltd up to 2015.
King was not spared the scandals and starting from 2001 till 2008, he was connected with the CNG Travel scandal. CNG Travel is a hotel booking service where King owns part of the shares. People say that King is still working in the tourist sphere.
The rumors concerning King’s CNG Travel scandal were spreading nearly at the same time as the rumors about Blum’s involvement in the criminal world. These events have generated new gossips – Blum and King were blamed for the organization of the delivery of drugs and sex entertainment from Asia to American moneybags. But proofs were not given and these rumors remain rumors.
When Mr. Blum and Mr. King started to deal with cryptocurrencies and blockchain business, another rumor has appeared. They were christened the kings of “deep web”. They say that Blum was involved in porno film shooting. He was producing the films in Asia and Russia and was selling them in DarkNet. King is blamed in the creation of the online map of the US drug dens in the Darknet. But these rumors have no confirmation.
2013 was rather an unfortunate year for Blum because of court cases he had. In 2013, the Securities Commission (SEC) took legal action against a Blum’s Investment Fund Magnetar Capital of cheating on their partners ‘ securities. Blum’s company was obliged to pay $132 million of compensation. In 2015, another trial was put in action against another Blum’s company. A former friend and associate Richard Branson accused M. Blum and P.J. King of commercial espionage. Branson insisted that space technology his company was developing was stolen. The lawsuits have undermined the reputation of Blum and King though they insisted that the trials were fabricated.
So, why this has happened? In 2016 Virgin Galactic initiated proceedings against Firefly Systems. The case was heard by the Los Angeles Superior Court. Mr. Blum and Mr. King as the officials of Firefly Systems were accused of commercial secret disclosure and unfair competition.
The court case was connected with the arbitration between Virgin Galactic and Thomas Markusic who was a vice president of the Virgin Galactic previously. Virgin Galactic has blamed Markusic that he has stolen commercial secrets and techniques after he has left his position. In 2013 Markusic decided to create a Firefly Company together with Blum and King and use the technologies of Virgin Galactic. Virgin Galactic tried to prove that Blum and King have applied the technologies provided to them by Markusic to initiate the Firefly project.
At the end of September, Firefly had to dismiss the staff members because of the problems connected with the project investment.
It must be mentioned that Firefly was engaged in designing of Firefly Alpha, a small satellite launcher. It would be a real competitor for Virgin Galactic because this company has already launched the LauncherOne booster project.
The Alpha booster rocket was designed to put up to 1 thousand kilograms of payload into low earth orbit and 630 kg of payload per solar synchronous orbit (SSO).
Alpha’s capacity of one metric ton is perfect if compare with all launch vehicles of this class.
Blum’s second passion except for business was space. When he was working at PayPal and had made enough money, he used them to acquire a ticket to SpaceShipTwo for $200 thousand provided by Virgin Galactic. In the summer of 2008, Blum and some officials from Virgin Galactic spent a month on the personal island of Richard Branson discussing the project of suborbital WhiteKnightTwo flight. Blum becomes a part of Branson’s team, giving lectures on space flights on China, Singapore, and the USA. In August 2009, all Youtube community could see a video uploaded by Blum when he was signing an agreement with Richard Branson and Mohamed Al-Husseiny. He has purchased 32% of shares in Virgin Galactic for $380 million.
Michael Blum, a prosperous business, had a lot of money but his aim was to enter the American market which was obsessed with the idea of New Space. Since 2010 many prosperous businessmen tried their hands in the space-exploring sphere developing different space projects.
So, full of enthusiasm, Blum and his business partner King started to pave the way for conquering the space sphere in 2014. They spent a lot of money to invest them in the space industry.
King also started his space business from purchasing a ticket for the suborbital flight on the VSS Enterprise / SpaceShipTwo spacecraft in 2004. The trial launch was unsuccessful, so King decided to ask for his money back. Despite the negative experience, King continued to work with Branson and Blum in the space industry.
There are different rumors connecting Blum and King with the certain groupings of the criminal world. They are said to be involved in the sex and drug business supplying rich people from America with illicit entertainment. Rumors say that it was P.J. King who has involved M. Blum into the criminal affairs. However, no facts were provided. Rumors are built solely on the people’s belief that all rich people have problems with the law.
If you study the business way of these two people, it becomes obvious that they are not criminals. Of course, there were some dubious business ventures in their life but all businessmen dealing with investment affairs have them.
It goes without saying, that they are very risky financial manipulators but they can hardly be called fraudsters. They are quite successful and rich not to get involved in dubious affairs. They have a good reputation among the USA businessmen; this helps them to make money and attract new investments in their projects.
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