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Monday, July 8, 2013

Floridian View Magazine is Defunct

I came across some interesting news out of Daytona Beach the other week. Floridian View Magazine has been shut down as of May 2013 and it's owners arrested by the FBI in association with real estate fraud and money laundering roughly $50 million dollars.

The Daytona Beach Journal reported, "Garrett, a 34-year-old mother of four, was arrested by the FBI on March 29 in a multimillion dollar mortgage fraud case that encompasses Volusia and other counties in Florida. Also arrested were Garrett's live-in boyfriend Jim Sotolongo, title agent Stephanie Musselwhite and former mortgage broker Chris Mencis.

In a complaint affidavit, the FBI states Sotolongo, a convicted cocaine dealer, is the leader of the group that operated the scheme. The four have been indicted, have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to go to trial in federal court on Aug. 5.
On April 1, three days after her arrest, Garrett was involved in a transaction that revealed she was the manager of Vanguard OmniMedia, which was still listed as the publisher of the magazine in its April issue."
I was not surprised to hear that the company finally crumbled. In fact, I am somewhat relieved. I worked for them on four different occasions the first half of 2011 when Manuel Bornia worked as Editor. I was never fully paid for the work I did, and I was even given a bad check at one point for over $1,100, when I demanded that they pay me for the services I conducted for the company. I never got that money, and now it looks like I never will. 
It was one of those situations where you want to warn colleagues of the companies who do bad business, but it is so hard to warn any freelancer who is overly excited to get a gig. The excitement can overpower any negatives, almost like putting blinkers on a race horse.
All I have to say is do your research and be true to the reality of a situation. It is so easy to find information on the web now, and if a business deal gives you a bad feeling, there's probably a reason for it.
If you'd like to read more about the arrest & magazine closure, here are two news sources for you:

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