Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Tarpon Springs city commissioner, 3 others accused in $1M securities fraud

Police released this image of the robbery suspect.

Police released this image of the robbery suspect.

Tarpon Springs

Ex-city official accused in $1M securities fraud

A former Tarpon Springs city commissioner and three other men have been arrested, accused of defrauding investors of more than $1 million.

Fred W. "Bill" Howard, 62, a developer who served as a Tarpon Springs commissioner from 1978 to 1981, was arrested around 2 p.m. Tuesday at his home by Tarpon Springs police on a Florida Department of Law Enforcement warrant, according to an arrest report. Also arrested were Gerald Gonzalez, 45, of St. Petersburg, Clifford F. Bagnell, 55, of New Port Richey, and Charles K. Byington, 48, of Miami.

The investigation revealed that the men issued and sold 24-month promissory notes to 20 Florida residents through BBG Investments LLC and BBG Rick Management Inc. between September 2004 and August 2005, according to the FDLE. All four men were charged with securities fraud, a first-degree felony, and 12 counts of sales of an unregistered security, third-degree felonies. Howard, Gonzalez and Bagnell were also charged with 12 counts of sales of security by an unregistered dealer.

All are being held without bail.


Man is sought in bank robbery

Police are investigating bank robbery at a Fifth Third Bank on Wednesday. Clearwater police said a man walked into the bank at 1150 Cleveland St. about 10 a.m., handed a note to the teller demanding money and left with an undisclosed amount of cash. The man implied he had a weapon, said police spokeswoman Beth Watts. The man is described as white with a pale complexion, in his 20s, about 5 feet 9 to 5 feet 10, 160 to 170 pounds with a thin build and a goatee. He has a teardrop tattoo next to his right eye. He also had adhesive bandages on the right side of his neck, which detectives suspect may have been used to cover a tattoo. The man was last seen wearing a black knit hat, a gold Ecko T-shirt, a black leather jacket and blue jeans. Police ask anyone who can identify the man or who has information about this crime to call the Clearwater Police Department Tip Line at (727) 562-4422. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.


Man accused of sex with minor

Authorities have arrested a 19-year-old man they say had sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl. Zachary Tarver, of 8927 Fairweather Drive, was arrested on a charge of lewd and lascivious battery. Tarver had a sexual encounter with the girl about 11:35 a.m. Wednesday at his home, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Detectives say Tarver and the girl met recently at Astro's Gate Roller Skating Rink. The two began texting each other, and hatched a plan to have the girl skip school Wednesday. But when the girl's friends found out about the plan, they alerted a school resource officer. Tarver remained in the Pinellas County Jail on Wednesday afternoon in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Former Tarpon Springs city commissioner, 3 others accused in $1M securities fraud 03/17/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 10:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. PolitiFact Florida: How would Florida fare in Graham-Cassidy health care bill?


    Following a sharp rebuke by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., hit the airwaves to defend his bill that would undo much of the Affordable Care Act.

    Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
  2. What ever happened to the Zika epidemic?


    Remember Zika?

    The last time Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians about the potential threat of the mosquito-borne virus was in July, when he urged residents to still be vigilant against bug bites and standing water. At the time, doctors and researchers were bracing for what was supposed to be another active summer …

    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for transmitting Zika, sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz Institute in Recife, Brazil. Cases of the virus are down dramatically this year in Florida, the result of awareness efforts, experts say. But the public, they add, should not let its guard down. [Associated Press]
  3. Pinellas licensing board needs cash. Will the county give it any?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– The grand jury that said Pinellas County should not take over the troubled construction licensing board also said the county should bail out the agency before it goes broke in 2018.

    Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long isn't keen on the idea of the county loaning money to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board afloat. The county has no say over the independent agency, which could run out of funding in 2018. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. Is the Bundt cake back? How retro baked goods are becoming trendy again


    Once there were grunts and slumps, buckles and brown betties. Oh, and pandowdies and sonkers. In the olden days, people routinely made angel food cakes, tomato soup cakes and hummingbird cakes. These were not Duncan Hines mixes, but rather confections made from scratch following yellowed and stained recipes in your …

    Nothing Bundt Cakes in Tampa offers a variety of options, from tiny “bundtinis” and 10-inch cakes that serve 18 to 20 people. Core flavors include lemon, marble, red velvet and chocolate-chocolate chip, with featured flavors like confetti.
  5. Craig Butz, executive director of Pepin Academies and former professional hockey player, died in a crash with a boat Saturday. His daughter Teagan, 4, remained in critical condition Sunday afternoon. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   TIMES, 2013]