SEC: Tampa exec ran FRAUD 'fantasyland'
The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Tampa home restoration executive Brian M. Marshall of helping create a "fantasyland of fraud" to push his company's stock after Hurricane Katrina. Marshall became president of Home Solutions of America Inc. in 2006 after it bought Tampa's Fireline Restoration Inc., a company he founded. Home Solutions' Frank Fradella and Jeff Mattich were also charged. Regulators accused the men of faking millions of dollars in revenue and writing false news releases to raise the price of their NASDAQ-traded stock. The stock price eventually collapsed when the shenanigans were disclosed, the SEC said. The SEC singled out Marshall, saying he booked more than $9 million of make-believe construction contracts with other companies he controlled. Companies founded by Marshall, including Initech Restoration Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Nov. 20.
Mosaic closing Polk, Hillsborough plants
Mosaic Co., a major producer of potash and fertilizer in southeastern Hillsborough and Polk counties, said Monday it will permanently close two plants idled in 2006 and write off additional machinery and equipment for a total writedown of about $50 million. The company, based in Plymouth, Minn., said the actions are part of an efficiency effort to improve returns in its phosphates business and to reduce operating costs. The facilities to close are the Green Bay plant and South Pierce phosphoric acid plant near Bartow. The company said it is joining its offshore unit with its phosphates mines in Central Florida, while its potash operations will remain a separate division. Mosaic shares, which have traded under $24 in the past year, were trading near $55 Monday morning.