CEO Jeff Weiner is not commenting but LinkedIn Corp. operator of the world’s most popular professional networking website, is being sued over allegations the company hacked into customers’ external e-mail accounts and downloaded their contacts. LinkedIn claims to have more than 238 million members, including CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. The lawsuits accuse the company of illegal hacking and then using the private contacts to solicit new members. Oops.
Palm Beach County
FLEA MARKET SHOOTING
There was yet another shooting at the 45th Street Flea Market in Mangonia Park this week. This time, it took place inside the market, where two armed men entered the crowded mall and began shooting. One man was killed and another was injured but is expected to survive. The shooting is thought to be the result of an ongoing feud. Police are continuing their investigation.
Two former state corrections officers, Erik Boe, 34, of West Palm Beach and Leon Brown, 30, of Lake Worth have been arrested for allegedly extorting money from a work-release prisoner they supervised at the West Palm Beach Community Correctional Center. The inmate had a job at a local body shop and the two are accused of making a visit to his workplace and demanding money. He told an investigator he paid the money out of fear they would plant drugs on him if he did not. He went to the authorities and filed a complaint which was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
DON KING TKO
Boxing promoter Don King has suffered a legal TKO. The 4th District Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court ruling that King is not entitled to a $1 million deposit he put up to buy the old Palm Beach Jai Alai fronton located in Mangonia Park. King had planned to turn the 53-acre site into a “mini-Madison Square Garden” arena with shops and residential units but the deal fell apart and has been tied up in the courts since 2004.
American Express is closing its Weston facility that processes invoices and mails out monthly statements. More than 300 workers will be laid off and about 100 others are being relocated to the Plantation office. The credit card issuer says the consolidation is due to customers increasingly opting to receive their statements online.
Former state Sen. Nan Rich’s highly touted fundraiser is over but few voters are aware she is running for governor. Former Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to file paperwork to seek the Democratic nomination for governor within the next few weeks and his team is already lining up interviews. Some Democrats are already referring to him as “hypo-Crist” due to his evolving stances on key issues. Crist is the clear favorite but anything can happen. He will have the wind of the White House at his back but the former jilted Republican who turned Independent and is now a Democrat will have to hone his fence-mending skills to win back the governor’s mansion.
An old lottery scam is still at work in South Florida and I’m not speaking about the Florida Lottery games with a nada, zilch, odds of hitting the jackpots. This scam has claimed another victim, this time an 83-year-old woman who was tricked into giving a supposed undocumented immigrant, who supposedly hit the lottery,
$18, 000 in cash and jewelry in exchange for cashing in her winning lotto ticket. It happened in the parking lot of a Pembroke Pines grocery store and was captured on surveillance video. The scam was carried out by two women. One claimed to be seeking someone to cash her winning ticket because she was an undocumented alien and feared she would be deported if she cashed the ticket. She told the senior citizen that she would allow her to cash the ticket but she needed to put up cash for security. The woman fell for it and the scammers and her money are gone. Police are investigating.
Fernando Granados, 20, was arrested in connection with the death of 18-year-old Tiffani Cabreja, whose body fell out of a truck and then was left at a Homestead construction site. Surveillance video captured a truck driving along a street when a body fell out of the passenger’s side door. The driver got out and put it back inside and then proceeded to the construction site, where a body was discovered later that morning when crews arrived for work. Police believe Granados was high on crack cocaine when he allegedly killed Cabreja. The investigation is continuing. Police are asking anyone with information to call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at 305-471-8477.
The city of Homestead’s Seat 5 City Council race pits incumbent Elvis Maldonado against the woman he defeated four years ago to win a seat on the council, 47-year-old Nazy Sierra. Maycol Enriquez, 40, a Miami-Dade Public Schools maintenance administrator and military veteran, is also competing for the seat. Maldonado was swept into office as part of an anti-incumbent movement that engulfed the city in 2009, along with Mayor Steve Bateman, Councilmen Jimmie Williams III and Stephen Shelley.
The Key West Police Department is one of the recipients of a U.S. Justice Department $8 million grant program intended to add officers to local forces for community-oriented policing. The grant provides salary and benefits for officers for three years. The Miami-Dade County Public Schools police department and the Miami Gardens Police Department also were awarded grants based on fiscal needs, crime rates and their community policing plans.
The Key West office of U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia was evacuated after a suspicious “Tea Party” letter containing a white powder was discovered. The facility was cleared and the FBI removed a suspicious envelope. Tests show the substance to be harmless but the FBI is investigating.