Southeast Fla. Business Briefs - Aug. 2009
BOCA RATON —
» Internet marketer Aton Solutions reached a settlement with the Florida Attorney General’s Office over allegations that the company and its subsidiaries offered free trials of Acai berry and other supplement products, but customers weren’t able to get through to the company to cancel future orders and were billed $80 a month or more. Attorney General Bill McCollum’s office says the company has made $10 million in refunds since the office began investigating in December.
» Office Depot (NYSE-ODP) raised $350 million from private equity firm BC Partners in a preferred stock sale that gave BC 20% of the company and three seats on the now 14-member board of directors.
» Steven Michael Rubinstein, a Boca Raton chartered accountant in the yacht business, pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return, the first prosecution of a client of Swiss bank UBS following UBS’ disclosure, as part of a deferred prosecution agreement, of clients hiding assets. Rubinstein faces a maximum of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
FORT LAUDERDALE —
» Gulfstream International Airlines (Amex-GIA) responded to the FAA about the government agency’s proposed $1.3 million fine by saying it was in compliance with regulations and had improved its record-keeping.
» Space Coast Credit Union in Melbourne acquired troubled Eastern Financial Credit Union, making Space Coast the third-largest credit union in Florida. Miramar-based Eastern, the largest credit union in south Florida with 200,000 members, was placed in conservatorship in April.
PORT ST. LUCIE —
» The Holiday Village of Sandpiper, a Club Med resort in Port St. Lucie, plans to close from August to December for the slow season, laying off 161.
RIVIERA BEACH —
» Pharmaceutical and product development business Sancilio and Co. received a $350,000 loan from the Jupiter Economic Development Fund to expand its production facility in Rivera Beach, adding five to seven jobs this year, and a $350,000 loan from Palm Beach Gardens to expand its testing facility there and create 18 jobs.
SOUTH BAY —
» University of Florida researchers have decided against building an ethanol demonstration plant funded with $20 million from the state on sugar grower Florida Crystal’s power plant site. A smaller project instead will be built at Memphis-based Buckeye Technologies’ Perry site closer to Gainesville, which will also make bio-based chemicals.
» Doctor practice management company Mednax bought a four-physician Dallas neonatology group practice.
TREASURE COAST —
» The Children’s Home Society of Florida’s Treasure Coast is trying to raise $5 million to build a youth transition center for former foster kids between ages 18 and 23. For more information: youthtransitioncentertc.com.
WEST PALM BEACH —
» The Palm Beach County clerk and comptroller’s office eliminated 66 jobs.