Saturday, October 18, 2003

Tristate summary

From staff reports

Judge tightens Fiorini's security

While awaiting a Nov. 18 fraud trial in federal court, former investment promoter George Fiorini went to Indiana in violation of his bond to pull about $20,000 from a bank and invest it with a Connecticut company that the government shut down last month as an illegal pyramid scheme.

That testimony came out of a 21/2-hour hearing Friday morning before U.S. Senior Judge Herman Weber. Federal prosecutors said Fiorini, who faces 79 counts of fraud, money laundering and income tax evasion, should have his bond revoked and be jailed.

But Weber only tightened the conditions of Fiorini's release. He ordered the Miami Township resident to physically report to the court's Pre-Trial Services office for written consent any time he wants to travel outside of town.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John DiPuccio presented evidence that Fiorini has operated a car-buying scheme in which he took the manufacturer's rebate and the sales tax portion of his clients' auto loans and invested the money in Wellspring Capital Group of Gales Ferry, Conn. Public defender Kelly Johnson, argued that $10,000 of the Wellspring investment belonged to Fiorini and that another investor, car buyer John Bacon, went along with the Wellspring deal.

Airline to cut 28 local jobs

Minneapolis-based airline Mesaba Aviation, which does regional flying for Northwest Airlines, announced Friday that it would outsource all of its heavy maintenance beginning Wednesday.

That means that 65 positions will be eliminated, including 28 jobs at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, which had served as a major maintenance hub for Mesaba.

The cuts leave 12 mechanics employed locally.

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