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Jump start: The week ahead

News of the business week to come

By Times Staff
Published November 12, 2007


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HE CALLS HIMSELF A REFORMED CRIMINAL; others have called him the Darth Vader of Capitalism. Today, Sam E. Antar, former chief financial officer of the Crazy Eddie's chain and one of the perpetrators of one of the largest white-collar crimes in the history of the Securities and Exchange Commission, will speak in Tampa about the mega-fraud. He will give tips on recognizing insider threats. The event is part of the white-collar fraud seminar at the Quorum Hotel on 700 N Westshore Blvd. The fee? $175 for members and $200 for guests. For more information visit www.westfloridaisaca.org.

YOU MAY HAVE HEARD RUMORS ABOUT IKEA planning to roll out stores in Florida. The Swedish furniture retailer opens the doors to its Orlando store Wednesday but lines are expected long before that. And the Tampa location? Try 2009. No lines are forming there - yet.

AFTER YEARS OF NEGOTIATIONS AND BUSTED DEADLINES, this could be the week the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida cut a deal to expand gambling at tribal casinos. Federal officials have threatened to let the Seminoles have Las Vegas-style slots if an agreement isn't signed by Thursday. Gov. Charlie Crist says he hopes to wrap up a deal to let the tribe have slots and blackjack in return for a cut of revenues estimated at $200-million a year.

WHEN CAN PROPERTY INSURANCE BE INTERESTING? When state regulators haul companies in for a public hearing and grill them about why they want a rate increase. Thursday, it's Allstate's turn. And this should be a good one. Allstate is asking for homeowners rate hikes ranging from 27.4 to 43.4 percent. The hearing starts at 1 p.m. in Tallahassee, and you can watch it live at www.wfsu.org/tfc/carriage.html. But wait. There's more. Regulators are looking into Allstate's underwriting practices and the company's relationships with insurance rating organizations, risk-modeling companies and trade associations. Mark your calendar for Jan. 15 and 16 for that hearing.

IF SMOKERS IN THE WORKPLACE FEEL OSTRACIZED, they may want to keep a low profile Thursday when it's time again for the Great American Smokeout. Now in its 31st year, the smokeout, promoted by the American Cancer Society, urges employers to urge their employees to kick their smoking habit ... at least for 24 hours.

HSN GOLDEN BOY and party planner to the stars Colin Cowie will speak Thursday at the Tampa Convention Center. Cowie, whose clientele includes the likes of Oprah and Seinfeld, is being hosted by the local chapter of Meeting Professionals International, which aims - love 'em or hate 'em - to "elevate the role of meetings in business." For more information, visit www.tampabaympi.org.

[Last modified November 9, 2007, 23:13:01]


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