CONNECT WITH:

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org

Zachariah Zachariah

Zachariah Zachariah

Impeccably dressed and unfailingly polite, Fort Lauderdale cardiologist and master Republican fundraiser Dr. Zachariah P. Zachariah testified at his insider trading trial last week about what it’s like to make and lose a fortune on Wall Street.

“I made millions of dollars in the market, and I lost millions of dollars in the market,” Zachariah told a Securities and Exchange Commission attorney. “One time I took a portfolio from $40 million up to $60 million in two months. You’d think I was a mini-Warren Buffet. Now, you think I’m a fool.”

The SEC has accused Zachariah of using nonpublic information to make nearly $1 million in illegal profits in 2005 trading the stock of two Florida companies.

If U.S. Magistrate Judge Linnea R. Johnson decides that Zachariah committed civil fraud she could impose a large fine, order him to pay back the money he made with interest, and ban him from serving as an officer or director of a publicly traded company.

Cat_LitterBy Dan Christensen

“Vigilante trappers” and pet activists have improperly stuck Broward taxpayers with the tab to sterilize feral and stray cats.

An internal county report says Broward’s Stop Pet Overpopulation Together (S.P.O.T.) program was misused by animal rescue groups to have wild cats spayed and neutered at local clinics in violation of program rules.

No allegations of wrongdoing were leveled at any specific animal rescue group or clinic, but reports by Broward’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Professional Standards recommended better verification of pet ownership before S.P.O.T. sterilization vouchers are issued.

Zachariah Zachariah

Zachariah Zachariah

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org

Testimony began Tuesday in the politically-charged, insider stock trading trial of Fort Lauderdale heart doctor and top Republican fundraiser Dr. Zachariah P. Zachariah.

Zachariah, who has raised millions of dollars for the GOP, stands accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of using nonpublic information to make nearly $1 million in illegal profits trading stock in two Florida companies in 2005.

The federal civil trial in West Palm Beach is expected to last about a week.

Some big names are expected to testify, either in person or by deposition. They include South Florida corporate titans Philip Frost, the billionaire chairman of the board of Teva Pharmaceuticals, and George Zoley, CEO and chairman of The GEO Group of Boca Raton.

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.org

Jack Seiler

Jack Seiler

Yet another Fort Lauderdale neighborhood is fighting City Hall over plans for unwanted new development – and has taken the additional step of hauling the city into court to try and stop it.

In court papers, the not-for-profit Trust for Historic Sailboat Bend claims the fix was in when the city commission voted 5-0 in March to bulldoze and replace the Dr. Kennedy Homes public housing development. The vote, after a lengthy public hearing, reversed the city Historic Preservation Board’s 2009 decision to deny demolition.

Now, trust officials say they have proof the city intended all along to approve the demolition: a letter Mayor Jack Seiler wrote last September expressing the city’s “support” for the demolition and offering his “best wishes for the success” of the controversial replacement housing project.

“The mayor had his mind made up before the evidence was heard,” said Trust Vice President Charles Jordan. “The quasi-judicial hearing over which he presided was a charade.”

By Dan Christensen, BrowardBulldog.orgARDA_300ppi

Campaign contributions typically go to politicians, but timeshare owners in Broward, the state and across the country will soon split $562,000 – an amount equal to the illegal contributions collected by the political fundraising arm of the U.S. vacation industry from 2003-2007.

The payout is part of a deal between the industry and the Federal Election Commission to settle civil allegations of wrongdoing in the solicitation and distribution of millions of dollars in political contributions.

The American Resort Development Association – Resort Owners Coalition PAC will also pay a $300,000 civil penalty. It is the largest fine imposed by the FEC since 2007.