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Talk of the bay: Bankruptcy towers over condo builder

By Times staff
Published December 29, 2007


A couple of years ago, St. Petersburg businessman Frank Maggio talked about remaking the city's skyline with his signature condo towers. Today, discussion centers on bankruptcy. Maggio's First Dartmouth Homes, a custom building company he operated at 724 2nd Ave. S, filed Friday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Tampa. Maggio is also known for founding erinMedia, a television ratings company that aimed to challenge the dominance of Nielsen Media Research. He announced he was folding erinMedia earlier this year. As for the condo towers, they never got off the ground, either.

Judge's call goes telemarketers' way
A major telemarketing operation in Largo that was shut down by a federal judge in July may be allowed to reopen. A U.S. magistrate in Tampa has recommended that FTN Promotions and eight affiliated companies, including Strategia Marketing and Suntasia Properties, be permitted to resume a modified telemarketing business under the oversight of a court-appointed receiver. In July, the Federal Trade Commission filed a civil suit accusing the companies and six individuals of bilking thousands of customers nationwide out of "tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars." The judge agreed to a temporary injunction and froze assets of the operation. But in a recommendation filed Dec. 21, U.S. Magistrate Thomas G. Wilson recommended lifting the injunction over the FTC's objections, saying, "Telemarketing is not an illegal enterprise, and in this case it provides employment for a significant number of people." Wilson's recommendation will be considered by U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr.

All about housing
James Thorner digs deeper into bay area housing news in his (Un)Real Estate blog at

[Last modified December 28, 2007, 23:02:06]

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