Women plead guilty in sex sting involving New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft

Two of four women charged in a South Florida prostitution sting that also involved New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft have taken plea deals this week, court records show.

Lei Wang, 41, and Shen Mingbi, 60, each pleaded guilty in Palm Beach County circuit court to one count of soliciting another to commit prostitution, records show. They were fined $5,000 each and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

A misdemeanor charge against Kraft was dropped earlier this year after courts blocked their use of video that allegedly shows him paying for sex. Kraft had pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology for his actions.

Robert Kraft

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft walks on the field before the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)AP

Two other women who worked at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter previously reached deals with prosecutors. Hua Zhang, 59, pleaded guilty last month to two misdemeanors. Lei Chen, 45, pleaded guilty to eight counts of offering to commit prostitution in February.

The four women, Kraft and two dozen other men were charged in February 2019 in a multicounty investigation of massage parlors that included the installation of video cameras in the Orchids of Asia’s lobby and rooms under the ruse that a bomb threat required its evacuation. Police say the recordings show Kraft and other men engaging in sex acts with women and paying them.

Those recordings where later thrown out after a county court judge ruled the warrant allowing the cameras’ installation didn’t sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent customers who received legal massages. An appeals court sided with the judge.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg dropped the charges against Kraft and the other men in September, explaining that without the video recordings, there wasn’t enough evidence to convict them.

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Women plead guilty in prostitution sting that involved Patriots owner Robert Kraft

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Two of four women charged in a South Florida prostitution sting that also involved New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft have taken plea deals this week, court records show.

Lei Wang, 41, and Shen Mingbi, 60, each pleaded guilty in Palm Beach County circuit court to one count of soliciting another to commit prostitution, records show. They were fined $5,000 each and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

A misdemeanor charge against Kraft was dropped earlier this year after courts blocked the use of video that allegedly shows him paying for sex. Kraft had pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology for his actions.

Women plead guilty in sex sting involving Patriots owner

A sign is posted outside of Orchids of Asia Day Spa, in Jupiter, Fla in 2019. (Hannah Morse/Palm Beach Post via AP, File)AP

Two other women who worked at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter previously reached deals with prosecutors. Hua Zhang, 59, pleaded guilty last month to two misdemeanors. Lei Chen, 45, pleaded guilty to eight counts of offering to commit prostitution in February.

The four women, Kraft and two dozen other men were charged in February 2019 in a multicounty investigation of massage parlors that included the installation of video cameras in the Orchids of Asia’s lobby and rooms under the ruse that a bomb threat required its evacuation. Police say the recordings show Kraft and other men engaging in sex acts with women and paying them.

Those recordings where later thrown out after a county court judge ruled the warrant allowing the cameras’ installation didn’t sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent customers who received legal massages. An appeals court sided with the judge.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg dropped the charges against Kraft and the other men in September, explaining that without the video recordings, there wasn’t enough evidence to convict them.

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Women plead guilty in sex sting involving Patriots owner Robert Kraft

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida — Two of four women charged in a South Florida prostitution sting that also involved New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft have taken plea deals this week, court records show.

Lei Wang, 41, and Shen Mingbi, 60, each pleaded guilty in Palm Beach County circuit court to one count of soliciting another to commit prostitution, records show. They were fined $5,000 each and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

A misdemeanor charge against Kraft was dropped earlier this year after courts blocked their use of video that allegedly shows him paying for sex. Kraft had pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology for his actions.

Two other women who worked at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter previously reached deals with prosecutors. Hua Zhang, 59, pleaded guilty last month to two misdemeanors. Lei Chen, 45, pleaded guilty to eight counts of offering to commit prostitution in February.

The four women, Kraft and two dozen other men were charged in February 2019 in a multicounty investigation of massage parlors that included the installation of video cameras in the Orchids of Asia’s lobby and rooms under the ruse that a bomb threat required its evacuation. Police said the recordings show Kraft and other men engaging in sex acts with women and paying them.

Those recordings were later thrown out after a county court judge ruled the warrant allowing the cameras’ installation didn’t sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent customers who received legal massages. An appeals court sided with the judge.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg dropped the charges against Kraft and the other men in September, explaining that without the video recordings, there wasn’t enough evidence to convict them.

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Women plead guilty in sex sting involving Patriots owner

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Two of four women charged in a South Florida prostitution sting that also involved New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft have taken plea deals this week, court records show.

Lei Wang, 41, and Shen Mingbi, 60, each pleaded guilty in Palm Beach County circuit court to one count of soliciting another to commit prostitution, records show. They were fined $5,000 each and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.

A misdemeanor charge against Kraft was dropped earlier this year after courts blocked their use of video that allegedly shows him paying for sex. Kraft had pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology for his actions.

Two other women who worked at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter previously reached deals with prosecutors. Hua Zhang, 59, pleaded guilty last month to two misdemeanors. Lei Chen, 45, pleaded guilty to eight counts of offering to commit prostitution in February.

The four women, Kraft and two dozen other men were charged in February 2019 in a multicounty investigation of massage parlors that included the installation of video cameras in the Orchids of Asia’s lobby and rooms under the ruse that a bomb threat required its evacuation. Police say the recordings show Kraft and other men engaging in sex acts with women and paying them.

Those recordings where later thrown out after a county court judge ruled the warrant allowing the cameras’ installation didn’t sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent customers who received legal massages. An appeals court sided with the judge.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg dropped the charges against Kraft and the other men in September, explaining that without the video recordings, there wasn’t enough evidence to convict them.

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The Beauty Of Being A Business Owner

Karla Dennis, EA, MST & CEO of The Award Winning Tax Accounting Firm Karla Dennis and Associates Inc. — Specializing In Tax Planning

The tax code broadly applies to two types of individuals: W-2 wage earners (employees) and business owners. When you are a business owner, you qualify for more tax write-offs based on the investments your business makes throughout the year.

Why is that? The tax code favors those who are contributing more to the economy through their business in addition to making business investments that stimulate the economy. Often, business owners also make additional money from investing in other business ventures, oil, real estate, etc. Not only that, but many entrepreneurs have a tax strategy in place to protect their wallets from putting more money in the hands of Uncle Sam. If you are a business owner, you may be in for tax savings if you become knowledgeable in understanding tax strategy and increasing write-offs through strategic investments.

Tax Compliance Versus Tax Strategy

Tax compliance happens from January through April 15 when taxpayers receive their year-end statements in the mail and rush to get their taxes done, often expecting a tax return. This differs from tax strategy, which involves tax planning all year long, keeping sufficient records, making smart investments and utilizing the tax code to save money. In other words, tax strategy involves looking for everything you can do to reduce your tax bill according to tax codes and working with tax professionals and accountants who can help you strategically plan where to invest your money to receive more write-offs.

If you are a business owner looking to create a tax strategy, start by taking a holistic look at where your finances are and where you want them to be. Next, consider your most common expenses, and ask yourself whether those expenses were made in the pursuit of income. Expenses that were made in the pursuit of income can most likely be used toward a tax write-off, such as for a home office, business vehicle, or even meals and entertainment.

To keep things simple, consult Internal Revenue Code Section 162(a), which allows business owners to deduct expenses that are considered ordinary and necessary and are paid or incurred in the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business. This code is one of the most neglected from a tax planning standpoint, yet it can enable your business entity to receive tax deductions for everything other than personal, living and family expenses. 

Increasing Your Write-Offs Through Investments

Investing is another way business owners can reduce their taxable income. When thinking of investing, one may often think of putting money in the stock market or in a mutual fund. These investments would not be considered a tax write-off.

However, if a business owner were to invest in real estate or a building owned by the business, then that investment would become a write-off. The business would be allowed to take a write-off to recover its costs of

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After Overnight Fire Following Pandemic Shutdown And Looting Earlier This Year, Bronzeville Beauty Supply Store Owner Says He Might Be Done

CHICAGO (CBS) — A fire broke out overnight Saturday into Sunday off 47th Street and Indiana Avenue in Bronzeville.

No one was injured in the fire, and police late Sunday were still trying to determine the cause. But as CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reported, the owner of one business that was damaged in the fire said his store may never return to normal.

The fire affected several different businesses to varying degrees. The damage seemed most severe at a tax service business, but smoke damage spread to the stores on either side of it.

It all serves as a reminder that for people like Wig Town Beauty Supply owner Jaewoo “Jay” Kim, this was not just a business or a livelihood. It was a dream.

Before you can see the damage at the site of the fire, you can smell it – the unmistakable stench of fumes and burnt plastic.

“It was smoke all over the place, fire trucks,” Kim said.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, Kim’s online security system showed him swirls of smoke dancing through the aisles of his business. He started that business from the ground up 16 years ago.

Kim came from South Korea to chase the so-called American dream. In 2020, it is feeling like more of a nightmare.

“This is like a movie where you watch an entire life in one year,” Kim said.

First was the shutdown for the COVID-19 pandemic, and then came the looting at the end of May.

Now, there was this fire overnight.

“Right now, I’m shocked,” Kim said. “I don’t know.”

After Wig Town Beauty Supply, 126 E. 47th St., was cleaned out by looters during civil unrest on May 31, it took Kim two months to restock – setting him back $150,000.

Now, just six months later, he has to do it all over again.

Beyond parts of the ceiling that have caved in, and beyond the water damage, is a type of damage that’s a little harder to see unless you really look for it – smoke damage and a thin layer of soot on every single product.

The bottles, the makeup, and the wigs are ruined. They cannot be saved.

“You cannot wipe down this kind of smoke damage, especially this heavy smoke damage,” Kim said. “The wigs and the clothing – no saving. We got to trash everything.”

Under the hazy fog of shock, the business owner put up a stoic front as he said this time, the doors might not reopen.

“Honest with you, I’m not sure I can come back from this,” Kim said.

Kim said he has insurance. But insurance does not cover everything, and rates go up after every incident.

Chicago Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives were spotted at the scene, pouring over video and talking to people on the street and inside nearby businesses.

The Fire Department cannot confirm the cause, but they have not ruled out arson.

Also From CBS Chicago:

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Covid-19 rent relief costs big shopping centre owner Kiwi Property $20m

Kiwi Property has spent $20m supporting its shopping centre tenants with rent reduction and deferrals because of their loss of trade during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Supplied

Kiwi Property has spent $20m supporting its shopping centre tenants with rent reduction and deferrals because of their loss of trade during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Big shopping centre owner Kiwi Property has spent almost $20 million on rent relief for tenants.

That was revealed in its half-year result where it posted a 47 per cent lift in profit to $54.2m thanks to a rise in the value of its office properties.

The company is also pushing ahead with plans for the construction of two office buildings and apartments at the Sylvia Park shopping centre.

The $20m rent relief contributed to a 5.3 per cent fall in net rental income to $84.9m for the six months to September 30, 2020.

READ MORE:
* The value of Kiwi Property’s $3.2b portfolio stabilises after falling six months ago
* Sylvia Park bets on the strength of the middle class as it expands with the Galleria
* Sylvia Park’s $277 million The Galleria to open next month
* Building apartments for rent is becoming increasingly attractive for Kiwi Property
* Foot traffic at Kiwi Property’s malls has rebounded to pre-Covid levels

Kiwi Property opened a 20,000 square metre extension at Sylvia Park shopping centre in Auckland which has about 60 additional local and international retailers.

Supplied

Kiwi Property opened a 20,000 square metre extension at Sylvia Park shopping centre in Auckland which has about 60 additional local and international retailers.

Kiwi chief executive Clive Mackenzie said by supporting its retailers it retained productive shopping centres. Its portfolio was 99.1 per cent leased.

The rent relief costs would be partially offset by the reintroduction of depreciation allowances for commercial buildings, expected to increase Kiwi’s full year after-tax earnings by approximately $4.5m.

Kiwi has a long-term strategy to reduce its reliance on shopping malls through more “mixed-use” development of other buildings and facilities on four of its large shopping centre sites in Auckland and Hamilton.

The mixed-use properties are Sylvia Park, Sylvia Park Lifestyle, LynnMall and The Base in Hamilton.

The company is pushing ahead with the strategy, announcing the second office building at Sylvia Park had resource consent and design was progressing for the 15-floor development.

Planning was also underway for a third office development, a smaller six-floor office and medical building at Sylvia Park, as well as for a build-to-rent residential development at Sylvia Park, Mackenzie said.

Kiwi’s office properties have been the most resilient to the economic impact of Covid. They increased in value in the half-year by 4.3 per cent to $950m.

However, its mixed-used properties and retail properties declined in value, by almost 1 per cent to $1.55 billion for mixed used, and by 3.3 per cent to $469m for its shopping centres.

Its total portfolio was worth $3.2b at September 30, 2020.

“While the uncertainty caused by Covid-19 continues to impact property values, it’s encouraging to see a firming of capitalisation rates and a general stabilisation of asset pricing across our portfolio,” Mackenzie said.

Kiwi Property has placed The Plaza shopping centre in Palmerston North up for sale. The funds from the sale will be used to further its mixed-used developments.

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Kiwi Property has placed The Plaza shopping centre in Palmerston North up for sale. The funds from the sale will be used to further its mixed-used developments.

Kiwi has

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PREIT, owner of Fashion District Philadelphia, files for bankruptcy in restructuring plan

The owner of Fashion District Philadelphia and several other malls throughout the region has filed for bankruptcy as part of a move to restructure its business.

PREIT, short for Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, had indicated in October that its properties were struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company made a restructuring proposal to its lenders, hoping to avoid filing for bankruptcy, but ultimately did so after receiving 95% backing for its plan.

The bankruptcy filing announced Sunday ensures that PREIT’s properties can continue to operate without disruption as it finalizes the restructuring.

“We are pleased to be moving forward with strengthening the Company’s balance sheet and positioning it for long-term success through our prepackaged plan. We are grateful for the significant support we have received from a substantial majority of our lenders, which we expect will enable us to complete our financial restructuring on an expedited basis,” said Joseph F. Coradino, CEO of PREIT. “Today’s announcement has no impact on our operations – our employees, tenants, vendors and the communities we serve – and we remain committed to continuing to deliver top-tier experiences and improving our portfolio.”

PREIT owns 21 properties in nine states and has sold off several malls in recent years, including the Phillipsburg Mall in New Jersey and the Palmer Park Mall in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Among the properties PREIT owns in the Philadelphia region are the Cherry Hill Mall and Moorestown Mall in South Jersey and the Willow Grove Park Mall, Plymouth Meeting Mall and the Fashion District, the multiyear renovation of Philadelphia’s former Gallery at Market East that held its grand opening in September 2019.

PREIT reported a net loss of $29 million in the second quarter of this year, following coronavirus shutdowns and decreased shopping among consumers after malls reopened. In September, the company received a stock delisting notice from the New York Stock Exchange after its share price fell below the $1 threshold.

Under the bankruptcy filing, PREIT will list some of its properties as collateral for debt and for the $150 million in new lending it has received.

“With the overwhelming support of our lenders, we look forward to quickly emerging from this process as a financially stronger company with the resources and support to continue creating diverse, multi-use ecosystems throughout our portfolio,” Coradino said.

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N.J. wedding venue reportedly shuttered, but owner denies it

Snuffy’s Pantagis Renaissance, an iconic New Jersey wedding venue and restaurant in Scotch Plains, has abruptly shuttered, according to a report by TAPinto.

It was located at 250 Park Ave.

TAPInto also reported Snuffy’s owes the township more than $389,000 in back taxes, and if unpaid by Nov. 17, the property will go up for auction.

Owner Nick Pantagis denied Snuffy’s was closing, according to the report.

“It’s a lie,” he told TAPInto. “Someone in my family was fired from the business and began starting rumors that we were closing. Everyone has a big mouth.”

Snuffy’s Facebook and Instagram pages haven’t been updated since August, and calls to the phone number listed for the wedding venue went unanswered.

The TAPInto report said people who have booked the venue have been informed by an outside agency that Snuffy’s can no longer host those events.

Around this time last year, Snuffy’s denied it was closing after a Lidl supermarket and 51-spot park-and-ride facility were approved for the site. That deal, however, has since fallen through, according to the TAPInto report.

The family-owned business was founded in 1972.

Other long-standing businesses that have shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic include Brummer’s Chocolates in Westfield, Harold’s Kosher Market in Paramus, Hole-In-One Golf Center in Millstone and Schwind’s Pork Store in Rockaway.

RELATED STORIES ABOUT RETAIL AND SHOPPING:

Macy’s releases its 2020 holiday gift guide: See the full list

Hobby Lobby to replace a shuttered Babies ‘R’ Us in Cherry Hill

Under Armour releases new face masks for working out, playing sports

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Nicolette Accardi can be reached at [email protected]

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Pet owner who heard teens LAUGHING after bashing her dog to death moved by stranger’s powerful gift


By Jackson Barron and Levi Parsons For Daily Mail Australia

09:09 18 Oct 2020, updated 09:09 18 Oct 2020

  • Patricia Pendergast had her foxy jack russell Mim beaten to death by four teens
  • The local neighbourhood watch said the dog was violently beaten with a pole 
  • Anne Scott offered to re-home her dog Missy to her after hearing her tragic story
  • Ms Pendergast said she was thankful for Ms Scott’s gift while grieving for Mim
  • Police are still investigating the ugly incident but no charges have been laid 

A pet owner whose Jack Russell was beaten to death with a pole by a gang of teenagers has been gifted a new dog by a kind stranger.

Patricia Pendergast’s pet dog, Mim, was killed by four teenagers aged between 14 and 16 in the front yard of her home in Riverview in Ipswich, Queensland, on Tuesday.

Ms Pengergast rushed outside in the middle of the night to investigate after hearing the youths laughing, only to find her seven-year-old pooch lifeless on the ground.

The horrific story sent shock waves through the community and prompted a fellow dog lover to offer Ms Pendergast a precious gift.

Anne Scott contacted Ms Pendergast and offered to re-home her Foxy Jack Russell named Missy to the grieving pet owner after hearing her tragic story.

Patricia Pendergast is pictured with her new dog Missy

‘I love dogs so much and it would have been devastating for me to have that happen,’ Ms Scott told Courier Mail. 

Ms Scott had been having issues with her grandson playing too aggressively with Missy.

‘I thought that Missy would love Patricia because she seemed like a dog lover,’ she said.

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Ms Pendergast said she was incredibly thankful for Ms Scott’s generous gift and was still coming to terms with the loss of Mim.

‘We will get through it, but it’s going to take a bit of time,’ she said.

Mim’s ashes will be delivered to Ms Pendergast this week by the RSPCA.

Ms Pendergast said she was thankful for Ms Scott to gift her Missy (pictured) while still grieving for Mim

Riverview Neighbourhood Watch said the group of teenagers were last seen running up Diamond Street and may have gone as far as the 7-Eleven at Dinmore. 

‘One was carrying a large pole,’ the organisation posted to their Facebook page.

‘They were seen to be laughing as they ran off. When the victim returned to her yard (after a short chase) she discovered that her dog had been beaten to death.

‘It had head injuries consistent with being hit with a pole numerous times and had suffered a very violent and painful death.’ 

Anger and disgust is now rife in the 3,000-strong community as word of the attack continues to spread.

‘This is sickening. I can’t imagine what this poor dog went through and how distressed his owner must be,’ one Facebook user posted.

Ms Pendergast’s dog Mim (pictured) was bashed to death with
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