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Scam Diego Entries for July, 2009

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GateHouse Sues Copley for Breach of Contract

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GateHouse Media, the severely ailing upstate New York newspaper chain, has sued Copley Press for failure to pay termination benefits for certain employees. Copley sold its Illinois and Ohio papers to GateHouse in early 2007 for more than $380 million. ...

AIG Policyholders at Risk, Say NY Times, Local Suit

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The New York Times today (July 31) finally stated what intelligent observers already know: policyholders in the multifarious subsidiaries of American International Group (AIG) are at risk because of the long-running incestuousness. The company is artificially supported by subsidiaries owning ...

San Diegans Charged in Alleged Ponzi Scheme

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The Securities and Exchange Commission today (July 28) charged two San Diego area men, along with a Mexican citizen and four entities, with running a Ponzi-like scheme. Edward Lantz Ferguson of Strong's Capital of Chula Vista told investors they could ...

Military Spending Still Bolsters Local Economy

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The military poured $14.7 billion in direct spending into San Diego County in 2007, according to the National University System Institute for Policy Research. That amounted to 14.3% of local economic activity. Some $13.7 billion came from the Department of ...

Platinum Equity Loses Bid for Delphi

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Platinum Equity, the Beverly Hills buyout firm that owns the Union-Tribune, lost its bid to buy Delphi Corp., the auto parts maker, according to various news organizations. Earlier, Platinum had made a deal that would have been heavily subsidized by ...

SD Home Values Improve Slightly, Still Down 42% from Peak

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San Diego home values in May rose 0.4% from April, according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price indices released this morning (July 28). Over the last year, home values are down 18.5%. That is an improvement over previous months, when ...

Local Lead Indicators Rise....BUT

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The lead indicators of the San Diego economy, compiled by economist Alan Gin of the University of San Diego, rose in June for the fourth straight month, according to data released this morning (July 28). The index was 101.6 in ...

Platinum Has No Dreams of Editorial Expansion for U-T, Says Black

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In an interview today (July 27) in the Globe and Mail, the national Canadian paper, David Black, investor and adviser in Platinum Equity's purchase of the Union-Tribune, looks to a no-frills editorial future for the U-T. "Mr. Black and Platinum ...

Encanto, Otay "Hot" Markets -- Well, Sort of

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The Wall Street Journal today ran a list of U.S. zip codes in which home sellers are receiving offers that are beating their asking prices. Generally, they are areas where there have been a lot of foreclosures, and houses are ...

Qualcomm Disappoints Wall Street in Third Quarter

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San Diego wireless tech whiz Qualcomm came in with blah results in its fiscal third quarter, announced today (July 22). Sales were $2.75 billion compared with $2.76 billion a year earlier. Earnings per share, excluding one-time items, were 54 cents, ...

Surprise! Newspaper Stocks Leap on Cost Cutting

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Newspaper stocks have soared this week, as companies report better earnings, largely from cost-cutting. Today, Media General, owner of Tampa Tribune, 24 dailies and 250 other publications, reported that it earned $20.3 million in the second quarter, compared with a ...

Platinum Deal for Delphi Delayed Again

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The auction for assets of bankrupt auto parts maker Delphi was delayed again by the New York bankruptcy court -- from yesterday (July 21) to Friday. Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity, the buyout firm that now owns the Union-Tribune, is bidding ...

New U-T Owners Borrowing against Real Estate

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Platinum Equity, the new owners of the Union-Tribune, appear to be borrowing against the properties that they got for below-market prices as an inducement to take the paper this spring. On July 14, PNC Bank, as "agent for itself and ...

Broke State Reaches Budget Deal

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California legislators tonight (July 20) reached a deal to close the $26 billion budget gap. According to the New York Times, the deal contains $15.6 billion in spending cuts, about $2.1 billion in borrowing, $3.9 billion in new revenues and ...

Former Qualcomm Executive Charged with Insider Trading

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The Securities and Exchange Commission today (July 20) charged Andres Leyva, former director of strategic marketing analysis for San Diego's Qualcomm, with insider trading. The federal agency charges that on July 23 of last year, Qualcomm and Nokia were set ...

SDCERS Will Look into Looser Accounting

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The board of the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (SDCERS) agreed today (July 17) to look into looser accounting techniques that if implemented could lower the City's annual required contribution, called ARC. Even before today's meeting, Councilmembers Donna Frye ...

San Diego Unemployment Goes above 10% in June

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The unemployment rate in San Diego went into double digits in June, rising to 10.1%, according to the state's Employment Development Department. The figure was up from a revised 9.6% in May. The 10.1% compares with 11.6% for the state ...

Coronado Great for "Rich and Single," Says Money Magazine

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In its current edition, Money Magazine lists 25 towns and cities that are the best for those "seeking a sugar daddy (or sugar mama)." Says the magazine, "Follow the money to these towns and cities, where affluent young professionals are ...

El Monte Averts Bankruptcy. Can Oakland Do the Same?

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The City of El Monte early this month averted bankruptcy as the four city employee unions, including police, agreed to benefit cuts. In September, Oakland, whose officials have also quietly discussed bankruptcy, will lay off 140 of its 800 police ...

American Express Put Her $1 Million into Madoff; She Sues

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Tijuana resident Maria Akriby Valladolid entrusted $1 million of her money with the San Diego office of American Express Bank Ltd. She had been originally approached to do so by a former friend who was a new employee of the ...

La Madrid, Others, Charged Criminally for $30 Million Fraud Case

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Matthew (Beau) La Madrid, Lance La Madrid, and Eric Montiel have been charged by the U.S. attorney's office for mail, wire, and bank fraud in their alleged role in a $30 million scam. Matthew La Madrid was also charged with ...

Union-Tribune Not Laying Off Another 192

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My earlier post was wrong. I reported this morning that an Employment Development Department WARN report indicated the Union-Tribune was laying off 192 workers July 6. However, that 192 listed for July 6 actually reflects 192 who were laid off ...

Union-Tribune May Lay Off Another 192...But There is Confusion

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On July 6, the Union-Tribune was scheduled to lay off another 192 employees, according to the Employment Development Department's WARN notices. That was four days ago; the layoffs have not taken place, but rumors have swept the Mission Valley building ...

Ask Parsky about His Offshore Adventures

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Rancho Santa Fe moneybags Gerald Parsky is chairperson of a supposedly bipartisan blue-ribbon commission on California taxation. Hardly surprisingly, so-called conservatives on the commission are pushing initiatives that would reduce taxes of the rich and increase them for the middle ...

Biotech's Share Offering Stumbles

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Arena Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego biotech, today (July 8) offered 12.5 million shares priced at $4.17 each. The stock had closed at $4.67 Tuesday, so the offering price was at an almost 11% discount from the previous day. But this ...

SPAWAR Employees and Contractors Charged with Fraud, Bribery

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The U.S. Attorney's office today (July 7) unsealed a 25-count indictment charging six individuals with defense contracting fraud related to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). Two of its employees, Gary Alexander and his wife, Kelly Alexander, accepted ...

U-T Seeking to Rent Part of Headquarters Space

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The Union-Tribune has sent a memo to its staff, saying that it is looking into renting out space in its building. Some potential renters have already looked at the fourth and fifth floor, say the new owners, Platinum Equity. (The ...

Job Losses Soar; Some Economists Expect Weak Growth for Years

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U.S. employers slashed 467,000 jobs in June, far more than the 363,000 economists had expected, the Labor Department reported this morning (July 2). The unemployment rate edged up to 9.5%. Economists had expected 9.6%. Including laid-off workers who have given ...

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