- PJ King - Personal website
Who Is Mr. King – a Prosperous Businessman or a Sly Fraudster?
Both P.J. King and Michael Blum have a scandalous reputation of people who are tightly connected with the criminal world. However, it is not hard to create a negative image of an honest man these days. So, can we trust what mass media says? Let`s try to figure out who King and Blum really are.
Michael Alexander Blum happens to be the owner of casinos and VIP hotels in Asia. He was born in a German family that lived in Hong Kong. It is known that he was working for PayPal in the German branch from 2002 until 2005. Blum also founded Falcon Henge Partners. This hedge fund management company was sold in 2006. He is also the owner of Hedgeye Risk Management’s financial media. In 2008 he was already the owner of a company organizing yacht cruises in Thailand. Thanks to this he met Tatyana, his future wife, who came to Chinese Macau from Khabarovsk.
In 2013, he became a co-founder of a venture fund and management company that was engaged with hotel and casino businesses in Southeast Asia. Blum mainly focused on the gambling business. This happens to be that period of his life when the first rumors regarding his engagement in criminal things appeared.
This is also that period when Blum became very interested in space. Michael got acquainted with Richard Branson who happens to be the owner of Virgin Corporation. He joined Branson`s team very soon after that. The team was working on suborbital flights and private space. Blum was a very active member who managed to create a number of space programs, gave lectures on space tourism and made a film about that. This is when he got to know P.J. King.
King comes from an ordinary Irish family of a shepherd. Although he studied astronautics and space engineering, he did not want to become a scientist in this sphere. He opted for business, so his startup was Clockworks International. The company was very successful as such well-known companies IBM, Apple, and Disney were the clients of the company. In spite of that, Clockworks International was sold after some time and a number of board members had problems with the law.
Soon after that, Mr. King was engaged with the investment projects which were not so beneficial for the companies he was working with. There was also P.J. King Investments Ltd an investment fund headed by King until 2015.
In 2001-2008, there was a scandal where King was involved. It was connected with an electronic hotel reservation service – CNG Travel. The thing is that the businessman happens to be the owner of the shares of the mentioned company.
Why People Believe That Mr. King and Mr. Blum Are Criminals
There have been several events that made people believe that these two businessmen are criminals. While King was involved in the CNG Travel scandal, Blum was busy with his hotel and gambling business in Macau. These are the two things that triggered the first wave of rumors regarding them taking part in criminal affairs. People state that Blum and King are the ones who organized of drugs and illegal entertainment delivery to America from Asia. There are no official proofs of that, though.
Other gossips appeared when the businessmen started their activity in blockchain and cryptocurrencies business. Now they are also famous as the kings of “deep web”. In addition to that, they accused Blum of creating porno films that were made in Russia and Asia and then sold in DarkNet. Mr. King is claimed to develop a virtual map of drug dens in the USA in the DarkNet. The mentioned claims have not been confirmed yet as well.
2013 was the year when Blum had to deal with a number of problems. That year he was accused of cheating on partners by the Securities Commission (SEC). The outcome of the lawsuit was that he was obliged to pay 132 million of dollars as compensation. In two years, another company belonging to him were accused of unfair competition which also resulted in multi-million lawsuits. His former friend Richard Branson became his enemy saying that both Blum and King stole the technology of his company. Thanks to all the mentioned lawsuits the reputation of the two businessmen was damaged, although they claimed that the trials were fabricated.
The point is that Virgin Galactic filed suit against another company, Firefly Systems in 2016. The officials of Firefly Systems were King and Blum who were accused of unfair competition and trade secrets disclosure. Markusic was another person who was involved in the process. He used to be a vice president in Virgin Galactic and was suggested to take confidential information and trade secrets of the company. Markusic was the one who established Firefly Systems together with Mr. King and Mr. Blum.
Virgin Galactic insisted that he was the one who provided Blum and King with the stolen information which was confidential and belonged to Virgin Galactic. Markusic denied everything as well.
By the end of September, Firefly Systems faced some issues with investing, so some members of the company were dismissed.
It is to be mentioned that firefly was working on one significant project – a small satellite launcher called Firefly alpha. This way, Virgin Galactic and their LauncherOne booster could have faced a real competitor.
Alpha was designed to put up to one 1,000 kg of payload into low earth orbit while per solar synchronous orbit (SSO) the payload would be 630 kg. The sun-synchronous orbit is considered to be a critical direction when it comes to small observatories created for earth observation. Currently, it remains underserved by launches.
As discussed before, Blum has always been interested in space. When he worked for PayPal, he made enough money to buy a ticket to SpaceShipTwo from Virgin which cost him two hundred thousand dollars. The truth is that Blum and Virgin Galactic representatives spent one month on the private island of Richard Branson in the summer of 2008. This is where they were discussing future plans regarding a suborbital WhiteKnightTwo flight. This is when Blum gave several lectures in Singapore, Chine, and the USA. In August 2009, he even uploaded a video on Youtube where he was signing a contract with Mohamed Al-Husseiny and Richard Branson. He purchased 32 percent of shares in Branson`s company for 380 million dollars.
He decided to go even further in conquering the American market where New Space was the new trend at that time. Since 2010, there have been many businessmen who wanted to be as successful in this sphere as Elon Musk, so they tried to develop their own space projects.
Being very enthusiastic about that, the two businessmen launched several space startups in 2014 and spent huge amounts of money on that.
Just like his business partner, King started his way in space business from buying a suborbital flight ticket on the VSS Enterprise / SpaceShipTwo spacecraft. When the test launch turned out to be unsuccessful, King said that he wanted his money back. In spite of that, he kept on cooperating with Blum and Branson in this sphere.
Rumors and gossips connect King and Blum with certain criminal affairs that deal with sex business and offering illegal entertainment to rich people from the USA. They believe that it was King who involved Blum in this criminal activity. At the same time, there is nothing to prove that at the moment.
After looking closer at their biographies, it is clear that these gossips can hardly be true. Both of them had some dubious moments in their careers but it is something you cannot avoid when taking part in investment businesses.
It is obvious that Mr. Blum and Mr. King happen to be financial manipulators, but this does not mean that they are fraudsters. Both businessmen are rich and smart enough not to take part in criminal things. At the same time, P.J. King and Michael Blum have a really good reputation in the American business circles, so they do not find it hard to attract investments in their projects.
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