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Business Observer Friday, Jun. 27, 2014 8 years ago

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Burger 21 ranked fifth on Fast Casual's 'Movers and Shakers'; Tampa contractor receives prison sentence for defrauding investors; and more

Burger 21 ranked fifth on Fast Casual's 'Movers and Shakers'
Tampa-based burger restaurant franchise Burger 21 was named one of Fast Casual's Top 100 “Movers and Shakers” for 2014. As the youngest concept of the top 10 brands, Burger 21 ranked No. 5, up from No. 22 last year, based on its double-digit increase in average unit volume and recent expansion.

In addition, Burger 21's President Mark Johnston was recognized in the publication as one of the Top 25 people for his leadership in the growth and development of the brand.

“We're honored to be recognized as an industry leader for the second consecutive year,” Johnston says in a press release. “This latest ranking demonstrates our brand's continued momentum and will further position Burger 21 as a leader in the better-burger segment.”

The Fast Casual Top 100 “Movers and Shakers” list ranks restaurant concepts based on innovation, unit and revenue growth and overall contribution to the industry. Nearly 900 restaurant groups were nominated for the list.

Burger 21 has 12 open locations and 20 franchised restaurants in development across the country.

Tampa contractor receives prison sentence for defrauding investors
U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn has sentenced Brian Marshall, 50, of Tampa, to four years in federal prison for defrauding investors in connection with the sale of Home Solutions of America Inc. stock.

Marshall pleaded guilty in November, the day his trial was to begin, in federal court in Dallas, to one count of securities and commodities fraud.

Marshall was a vice president and a member of the board of Home Solutions of America Inc., a NASDAQ-traded company that was based in Dallas before it relocated in July 2008 to New Orleans. Home Solutions conducted some of its construction business through its largest subsidiary, Tampa's Fireline Restoration Inc. Marshall was the president of Fireline.

As part of his plea, Marshall admitted that between December 2006 and Aug. 15, 2007, he ran a scheme to defraud public investors by fabricating revenue, operating income and costs in connection with a series of construction contracts in Tampa. Marshall caused Fireline to enter into construction contracts with private companies that he wholly or partially owned, including a $4 million contract for the construction of his personal home.

Frank Fradella of Covington, La., who was the CEO of Home Solutions, has also pleaded guilty to securities fraud in the Eastern District of Louisiana and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 24.
The FBI, with assistance from the Enforcement Division staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Nicholas Bunch and Andrew Wirmani prosecuted the case.

Advanced Dental Health changing names, offices
Dr. Brian Hoffman is renaming his Sarasota dental practice, Advanced Dental Health PLLC, to Hoffman Dental - Comprehensive Private Practice Dentistry. The practice says it made the change to emphasize its commitment to being relationship-focused.

In addition, the office is moving to a 3,500-square-foot facility at 3920 Bee Ridge Road, Building E, Suite D, Sarasota.

“Our fees will not increase and our attention to detail, and focus on providing personalized care will not decrease, we'll simply be able to offer our patients immeasurably more in this new facility,” Hoffman says in a press release.

Volt Lighting adds West Coast distribution center
Lutz-based Volt Lighting has expanded its U.S. operations to include a fully stocked and staffed West Coast Distribution Center in Las Vegas. The new facility will provide one- to three-day ground shipping to the company's West Coast customers.

The distribution center will house the manufacturing company's entire product line, including its solid brass LED landscape lighting, new line of indoor and outdoor LED light bulbs and fixtures.

“Now we have distribution centers on both coasts; that makes our shipping even faster,” Richard Ferraro, director of operations at Volt, says in a news release. “A person in Los Angeles or Phoenix can place an order at 4:59 p.m. and it will be in his or her hands the next day.”

Western Technology Investment backs Health Integrated with $4 million
Health Integrated Inc. of Tampa has secured $4 million in venture debt financing from Western Technology Investment. Health Integrated says it will use the new capital to improve its care-management technology and to deploy additional analytics. It also expects to accelerate the release of additional features within Health Integrated's Web-based platform, which is used by clinicians in Tampa and Seattle.

Founded in 1980, Western Technology Investment has provided more than $3 billion of debt and equity capital to technology and life science companies, including Juniper Networks, Facebook and Google.

Cody Consulting employs new controller
Cody Consulting has hired Todd Brown as its controller. Brown will be responsible for managing the company's financial matters, including managing financial data for investors. He was previously a senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Tampa, and has more than 20 years of accounting and finance experience.

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