Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Public safety

Son of famous St. Pete hotelier pleads guilty to TV fraud in North Carolina

The son of one of St. Petersburg's most influential hoteliers pleaded guilty late last month to charges related to a $4.5 million fraud scheme in North Carolina.

Ninian Ulysses Bond II, 60, is the son of the late Bill Bond, one of the "Bond Boys" who helped develop downtown into a tourist destination last century. The younger Bond's brother, Bill Bond Jr., is a former City Council member.

Since at least 2002, court records say, Ninian Ulysses Bond II owned and operated North Carolina-based Highlands Cable Group.

Bond, investigators say, paid DirecTV less than $500 a month for subscriptions to the satellite TV provider. He then illegally rebroadcast DirecTV programming to his own customers. As of 2011, he had more than 550.

Bond, reached at the company's direct line Thursday, said much more would be revealed after his settlement negotiations with prosecutors are finished.

"There's a whole lot afoot here that's not in the public records," he said, declining to be more specific.

Bond, born and raised in St. Petersburg, has family roots in the city that go back nearly 100 years.

His grandfather, Ninian Ulysses Bond Sr., was a Kentucky state senator who brought his wife and three boys here in 1921.

The family got into the hotel business in the 1930s with the purchase of the Pennsylvania Hotel. The brothers later owned the Ponce de Leon, Colonial and Bond hotels as well. All three of the "Bond Boys" are now dead. Bond's father was the last when died in 2011.

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.

Comments
Space heater likely cause of early-morning home fire in Valrico

Space heater likely cause of early-morning home fire in Valrico

VALRICO — A space heater is believed to be the cause of a home fire in Valrico on Tuesday morning.It took firefighters about 20 minutes to control the fire in a mobile home on Pierce Christie Drive, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.The ca...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Tampa forum focuses on reforming Florida’s juvenile justice system

TAMPA — Changing the way Florida treats juvenile offenders was the focus of Monday night’s public forum on criminal justice reform."We send more children to adult prison than any other state," said Raymer Maguire IV, manager of the ACLU’s Florida Cam...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Residents wonder what’s next after fire destroys Tampa apartments (with video)

Residents wonder what’s next after fire destroys Tampa apartments (with video)

TAMPA — When her apartment complex caught fire Monday afternoon, Peaches McIntyre grabbed her four children and baby stroller and ran outside.Hours later, she looked at the smoldering building with her 5-year-old autistic son, Choice Underwood, huggi...
Published: 12/11/17
Mother, sons lose everything in fire -- except her daughter’s urn

Mother, sons lose everything in fire -- except her daughter’s urn

ST. PETERSBURG — The day after a fire claimed most of Jahmeshia Jackson’s possessions, the 27-year-old mother returned to the house she and her sons had escaped, trying to salvage what she could. She hoped her washer and dryer still worked. But most ...
Published: 12/11/17
Tree trimmer shocked by power line in Clearwater, authorities say

Tree trimmer shocked by power line in Clearwater, authorities say

CLEARWATER — A 38-year-old tree trimmer is in critical condition after he was shocked by a power line Monday, according to Clearwater Fire & Rescue.Ernest Harlen, of Largo, was on a ladder cutting trees with a pole saw when he was shocked just before...
Published: 12/11/17
Father of Seminole Heights victim repairing damage after vandals hit son’s memorial

Father of Seminole Heights victim repairing damage after vandals hit son’s memorial

TAMPA — Weeks after burying his son Anthony Naiboa, one of four people gunned down over the span of 51 days in Seminole Heights, Casimar Naiboa has a new and unwanted ritual.He drives past a makeshift memorial his family made for his son, set up wher...
Published: 12/11/17
Bomb strapped to man explodes in New York subway; 3 hurt

Bomb strapped to man explodes in New York subway; 3 hurt

NEW YORK — A man inspired by the Islamic State group set off a crude pipe bomb strapped to his body Monday in a crowded subway corridor near Times Square, injuring the man, slightly wounding three others and sending New York commuters fleeing in terr...
Published: 12/11/17
Lakewood High on lockout after report of weapon on campus

Lakewood High on lockout after report of weapon on campus

Lakewood High in St. Petersburg was placed on lockdown Monday morning following reports of a weapon on campus, but the threat was later downgraded and the school was placed in lockout status instead. St. Petersburg Police spokeswoman Sandra Bentil s...
Published: 12/11/17
Firefighters brace for second week of California wildfires

Firefighters brace for second week of California wildfires

LOS ANGELES — As Southern California enters its second week engulfed in flames, fire officials anticipate more growth and danger due to continued strong wind gusts, no rain and decades-old dry vegetation. A powerful flare-up on the western edge of th...
Published: 12/11/17
Reasons elusive as Pinellas EMS demand skyrockets

Reasons elusive as Pinellas EMS demand skyrockets

When the fire chief asked if anyone in the room had fallen before, a few in the gray- and white-haired crowd raised their hands. One woman lost her footing as she was answering the phone. Another saw a palmetto bug, sprayed it with repellent, then s...
Published: 12/11/17