Talk of the bay: Lou Pearlman, you are hereby undeputized

By Times staff
Published May 3, 2007

Scofflaws beware. Here's what can happen to you if you run a Ponzi scheme that leaves investors holding the bag for $317-million. The Orange County Sheriff's Office has revoked music producer Lou Pearlman's honorary deputy badge. Pearlman got the honor in 2001 when the city was celebrating his downtown development efforts, but now that he is being investigated by the FBI, Sheriff Kevin Beary is cracking down. The badge, which has been given to about 650 people, "has no enforcement powers, " sheriff's spokesman Jim Solomons said. "It won't get you in free at Disney World." He said Beary wanted to mail Pearlman a letter demanding the badge's return, but didn't know where to send it. Pearlman is believed to be out of the country. No word yet on whether Orlando is going to take back its key to the city.

Big private payday for Catalina brass?
The top management tier at Catalina Marketing Corp. will get a sweet payday from their employer when the company is taken private by Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners. Chief executive officer Dick Buell and his five top executives got new golden parachutes just before the company was put up for bid. Buell, for one, gets almost triple his salary and bonus if there's a change of control. So unvested options and restricted stock grants for Buell and other top managers will be made whole when the company is sold. For Buell, the total is $7.9-million, according to a preliminary proxy, up from his $2.4-million total compensation package in 2006. The new owners also plan to give the management group up to a 15 percent stake in the new company, but how much they have to pay for it is negotiable. The management holds less than 1 percent of Catalina's shares now. No date has been set for stockholders to vote on the $1.7-billion transaction. Insiders who control 30 percent of Catalina shares already said they will vote in favor of the sale.

Verizon adds speed to bundled offer
There's a new twist to Verizon's bundled services of Internet, digital cable and phone: You can now pick a faster Internet connection as part of the combo. The sticker for that high-speed Internet, Verizon's FiOS TV (where available) and phone service? Try $109.99 a month.