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RUMSON MAN SENTENCED FOR MARKET CRIMES

A Rumson commodities trader who owned and managed a Red Bank firm was sentenced to three years in federal prison last month for market manipulation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Friday.

Michael Coscia, owner of Panther Energy Trading, was convicted in Chicago last November in the first-ever federal prosecution for “spoofing” under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the FBI said.

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RED BANK: HOVNANIAN ‘DELEVERAGING’ BOOKS

hov-hq-8-12-06Hovnanian’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Red Bank-based Hovnanian Enterprises‘ departure from the Minnesota market contributed to a $16.2 million net loss in its first fiscal quarter, the company reported Wednesday.

The company tied the loss to $11.7 million of land-related charges, primarily related to assets in Minnesota, which it said it is exiting. The result compares to a net loss of $14.4 million, including $2.2 million of land-related charges, in the first quarter of the previous year, the company reported.

The exit from Minnesota is part of a broader strategy of “deleveraging,” or reducing debt, by leaving select markets, CEO Ara Hovnanian said in a prepared statement.

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RUMSON: SINGER JAZZES UP CAREER VIA PUNK

deborah dutcher phil kuntz 100515-v2 (2)Deborah Dutcher and Phil Kuntz, above, and the proposed album art, which offers homage to both Elvis Presley and the Clash, below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

deborah doctor punk 100515It was no accident that Deborah Dutcher ended up touring Europe for 13 years with lead roles in such shows as “Les Misérables” and “Phantom of the Opera.” Singing show tunes professionally was pretty much all she ever thought of doing.

“My mom tells that from the moment I could speak, I wanted to be a singer,” Dutcher told redbankgreen last week. “And I had major follow-through. I never deviated.”

That laser focus, supplemented by a heavy diet of Barry Manilow and the Carpenters, also ensured that Dutcher ended up knowing diddly about punk rock. So when her friend and fellow Rumson resident Phil Kuntz suggested she record an album of punk classics as a way of restarting her career after a decade off, Dutcher was in unfamiliar territory.

The Buzzcocks? The Sex Pistols? Who were they?

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RED BANK: HOV LOSSES EXTENDED

hovanian hq 071715Hovnanian Enterprise’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Red Bank-based homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises posted a net loss of $7.7 million in its third fiscal quarter, the company reported Wednesday.

In the current fiscal year, which began November 1, the company has posted net losses of $41.6 million, compared to a loss of $15.3 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2014, Hov reported.

As he did after the second-quarter results were released in June, president and CEO Ara Hovnanian said in a statement that the company was “disappointed” with the results. But better days lie ahead, he said.

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RED BANK: HOVNANIAN POSTS $19.6M LOSS

hov-hq-8-12-06Hovnanian Enterprise’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Hovnanian Enterprises posted a net loss of $19.6 million in its second fiscal quarter, more than doubling the $7.9 million loss in the comparable 2014 period, the Red Bank-based homebuilder reported Tuesday.

In the current fiscal year, which began November 1, the company has racked up net losses of $33.9 million, compared to a loss of $32.4 million in the first half of fiscal 2014, Hov reported.

President and CEO Ara Hovnanian said in a statement that the company was “disappointed” with the results.

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RED BANK FINANCIAL ADVISOR INDICTED

evan kochavEvan Kochav seen in a frame from a promotional video for Marcus Evans.  (Click to enlarge)

A financial consultant said to be have been based in Red Bank was indicted Tuesday on charges he stole more than $560,000 from investors.

The indictment of 33-year-old Jersey City resident Evan Kochav, handed down by a grand jury in Trenton on Tuesday, comes five months after the state Bureau of Securities slapped Kochav and his firm with a $2 million civil fine for defrauding investors.

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RETAIL CHURN: EAT, WEAR AND INVEST

jim lin 110314Jim Lin, owner of Oriental Empire, said customers of his Ocean Township restaurant urged him to open one in Red Bank. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, we’ve got details on these recent developments in ever-churning downtown Red Bank:

• Oriental Empire, a restaurant offering a mix of Asian cuisines, opened last month at 54 English Plaza.

• A former sales associate at the recently departed Nirvana is opening her own women’s clothing store on Broad Street.

• A restaurant called Hansel & Griddle plans to open on West Front Street.

• A nail salon changes hands and rebrands.

• The space formerly occupied by office supply retailer Staples is turning into office space for a securities brokerage.

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RED BANK FIRM SLAPPED WITH $2M FINE

HOT-TOPIC_02A financial consultant said to be have been based in Red Bank was fined $2 million after he defrauded investors and spent $100,000 of their funds on online gambling, football tickets, casino hotel rooms, dining, shopping and travel, law enforcement authorities announced Friday.

Evan Korchav, of Jersey City, and his firm, White Cedar Group, were also barred by the state Bureau of Securities from doing finance-related business in New Jersey acting state Attorney General John Hoffman said.

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RED BANK: HOMEBUILDER’S NET DOUBLES

hov-hq-8-12-06Hovnanian Enterprise’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Hovnanian Enterprises posted net earnings of $17.1 million in its third fiscal quarter, more than doubling the $8.5 million net in the comparable 2013 period, the Red Bank-based homebuilder reported Thursday.

Citing “the early stages of a recovery” for the housing industry, and “assuming no change in current market conditions,” the compaany expects to wrap up the year with a profit, president and CEO Ara Hovnanian said in a statement.

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RED BANK: HOMEBUILDER POSTS LOSS

hov-hq-8-12-06Hovnanian Enterprise’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Hovnanian Enterprises delivered fewer homes and a net loss in its latest fiscal quarter, the Red Bank-based homebuilder reported Wednesday.

The second quarter saw a net loss of $7.9 million in the three months ended April 30, compared with net income of $1.3 million in the prior-year second quarter, which included $2.6 million of federal and state tax benefits.

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RED BANK: WALGREENS RETHINKS STORE PLAN

rassas 032214The former home of Rassas Buick, at Broad Street and Rumson Place. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_01Just six weeks after a series of contentious hearings won Walgreens an OK to build a store in Red Bank, the pharmacy chain is “reviewing [its] options” on the plan, redbankgreen has learned.

So says Aaron Rassas, the retired car dealer who owns the one-acre Broad Street site where Walgreens planned to build a 10,120 square foot drug-and-grocery emporium.

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RED BANK: HOV POSTS STRONG RESULTS

hov-hq-090511Hovnanian Enterprise’s headquarters in Red Bank. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Red Bank-based homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises reported strong growth in revenue and earnings Thursday.

Revenue rose 21.5 percent in the fourth quarter, to $591.7 million, driving net income for the period to $32.8 million, after a loss of $84.4 million i the year-prior period. At 59 cents per share, the earnings “handily beat analysts’ expectations” of 17 cents per share, the Motley Fool reported.

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WEATHER TOYS WITH FORECASTERS

rb snow 121013 1Main roads on the Green were clear at midday Tuesday, as seen here looking east along Harding Road from Tower Hill in Red Bank.

Forecasters, meanwhile, seemed in a scramble for clarity on how bad the storm would be. The National Weather Service has upped its estimated accumulation total to 2 to 4 inches – from 1 to 3 inches earlier today. The Weather Underground, meanwhile, has gone in the other direction, changing its forecast to 1 to 3 inches, from 3 to 5 earlier in the day. The Weather Channel has backed down to 1 to 3, from 2 to 4, and Facebook fave Bob ‘Weatherman’ Burger has eased back to 2 to 4 inches in our region, from 3 to 6. All agree it should be over by Tuesday evening, when temps are expected to drop into the 20s. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

FAIR HAVEN: FEDS CHARGE $18 MILLION SCAM

just_in1The owner of an investment firm based in Fair Haven was arrested Monday on charges he ran an $18 million Ponzi scheme, federal authorities said.

Louis J. Spina, 56, formerly of Colts Neck, is alleged to have lost $8 million of that amount on stock trades and burned through the rest to pay his clients phony ‘returns,’ as well as for personal expenses, “including car purchases/payments, luxury apartment rental payments, and a $400,000 donation to a private university,” the office of United States Attorney Paul Fishman said in a prepared announcement.

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RED BANK FIRM SMACKED FOR TRICKERY

A Rumson commodities trader and his Red Bank firm have been slapped with nearly $6 million in fines and paybacks orders by United States and British regulators for an alleged scheme to manipulate prices for oil, agricultural products and more, according to various media reports Monday.

According to a report by Bloomberg News carried on the Star-Ledger website, NJ.com, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged Michael Coscia and his firm, Panther Energy Trading, with market ‘spoofing,’ in which bids and offers in futures contracts for crude oil, metals and other commodities were made anD quickly withdrawn to create the illusion of market demand.

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