Edited by Scott Morgan

Sellers Beware

Police are seeking a fugitive Trenton couple that recently was indicted by a state Superior Court in connection with a real estate scam that allegedly bilked three mortgage companies out of more than $641,000 in house sale deals in and around Mercer County.

Joann Smith, 44, and Wayne Batha, 39, who operate S&B Property Management LLC in Trenton, remain at large, despite being charged with laundering, conspiracy, theft, and failure to file corporate tax returns.

According to state Attorney General Anne Milgram, the couple allegedly stole the money from 11 homeowners in Trenton, Ewing, Hamilton, Orange, Willingboro, and Camden by diverting funds on the sales of the houses and convincing the owners that they were not entitled to the full share of the sales due to service fees.

Smith and Batha also allegedly misrepresented the sellers’ financial state to agencies such as the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Milgram said in a statement that the victims were not financially savvy, but were in financial distress and were desperate to unload properties they could no longer afford the mortgages for.

New ETS Program To Aid Latinos

Educational Testing Service, Rosedale Road, Princeton 08541; 609-921-9000; fax, 609-734-5410. Kurt F. Landgraf, president. Home page: www.ets.org.

On October 21 ETS launched “Si! The New American Workforce Scholarship and Internship” program, an initiative that addresses the private sector need to find and develop Latino and other students for programs carrying them from college to good jobs.

The announcement comes less than a month after a presentation to ETS by Loui Olivas, president of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education in Phoenix, who presented statistics showing that the Latino population is the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population and workforce.

Si! will be a national program looking to increase corporate sponsorship of scholarships and internships in order to increase the number of Latino and other minority students who enter and finish college, then make their way into the corporate world.

“For the private sector this is a cost-effective operation that helps companies develop and later employ high-quality employees,” says Bill McCambley, director of scholarship and recognition programs at ETS. “It establishes a learning platform that promotes strong employee relationships, increases loyalty, and allows employers to observe performance.”

Si! services cover program design and planning, applicant pool development, candidate review, academic progress and internship monitoring, program evaluation, and mentor training.

For information about the Si! program contact Linda Bailey at lbailey@ets.org or call 609-243-6545.

Leases Renewed

PharmaNet (PDGI), 504 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540-6242; 609-951-6800; fax, 609-514-0390. Jeffrey McMullen, president and CEO. Home page: www.pharmanet.com.

PharmaNet, a provider of clinical development services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, generic drug, and medical device companies, has signed an early renewal for its 122,000-square-foot headquarters lease at 504 Carnegie Center. Cushman & Wakefield Inc. of East Rutherford represented PharmaNet in the long-term transaction. The space is owned by Boston Properties, which has its offices at 302 Carnegie.

According to Walter Schoenberg of Cushman & Wakefield, timing and flexibility were critical in its successful outcome.

“We were retained to explore the market for cost-saving opportunities well in advance of PharmaNet’s lease expiration,” Schoenberg said. “Ultimately, the firm chose to stay at 504 Carnegie by renewing a full 24 months early.”

PharmaNet started at 504 Carnegie as a subtenant and has expanded several times there over the years to become its sole, full-building tenant.

The signing comes barely two weeks after the Securities and Exchange Commission closed a two-year investigation into PharmaNet’s handling of SEC filings. The commission found no evidence to pursue further legal action against the company.

National Business Parks Inc., 2 Research Way, Princeton 08540; 609-452-1300; fax, 609-452-8364. Vince Marano, vice president and COO. www.collegepk.com.

The managing arm of Lawrence Zirinsky Associates, owner of College Park at Princeton Forrestal Center, has renewed a lease and signed in a new tenant to the 11-building office complex.

NeoStrata, which develops and markets advanced dermatological and skin care products at its facility at 307 College Road East, has renewed a long-term lease for 21,000 square feet.

Meanwhile, consulting, engineering, and construction firm Syska Hennessy SH Group Inc. has leased 9,000 square feet at 105 College Road East. The firm will be moving its regional offices from 502 Carnegie Center in the coming months. The long-term lease was brokered by Todd Elfand of Jones Lang La Salle.

The signings maintain a 97-percent occupancy rate in the complex, which has 815,000 square feet of office space.

NBP also has recently reached full occupancy at Bridgewater Corporate Center with the lease of a 900-square-foot space to MISource Inc., a nationwide staffing solution provider headquartered in Tampa, Florida. The space is in a 48,500-square-foot building at 757 Route 202/206, which also counts Ameriprise, Legato Law Firm, and Stellar Academy among its tenants.

Contracts Awarded

Universal Display Corporation Inc. (PANL), 375 Phillips Boulevard, Ewing 08618; 609-671-0980; fax, 609-671-0995. Steven Abramson, president. www.universaldisplay.com.

UDC, developer of phosphorescent OLED technology, has been given a $333,593 extension to a U.S. Army contract to continue development on its flexible OLED display technology. The company plans to deliver a prototype of the technology, which consists of flexible displays built on metal foil.

The technology is being evaluated by the Department of Defense for military applications including a wrist-mounted, light-weight display for use by soldiers in the field. According to the company, work under the extension includes the design and fabrication of new prototypes using amorphous-silicon backplanes and a phosphorescent OLED frontplane.

The OLED display will be encased in a new and thinner housing, designed and fabricated by L-3 Display Systems. The new housing is expected to be less bulky and more rugged than earlier prototypes.

Management Moves

NRG Energy Inc. (NRG), 211 Carnegie Center, Princeton 08540-6213; 609-524-4500; fax, 609-524-4501. David Crane, president and CEO. www.nrgenergy.com.

The energy company’s CFO, Robert Flexon, is leaving NRG, effective November 2, to take over as CEO of Clinton-based construction giant Foster Wheeler.

Gerald Luterman will serve as interim CFO for NRG while the company conducts a search for a permanent officer. Luterman sits on the NRG board and its audit committee. Before joining NRG he served for eight years as CFO of KeySpan Corp.

Flexon, who has served on the Foster Wheeler board of directors since 2006, has been NRG’s CFO since 2004. Prior to joining NRG he was vice president of corporate development, work process, and business analysis and controller at Hercules Inc. He also held various financial management positions at Atlantic Richfield and the Coopers & Lybrand public accounting firm.

VoicePulse, 1095 Cranbury-South River Road, Suite 11, Monroe Township 08831; 609-409-1800; fax, 609-409-8511. Christopher Silk, CEO. www.voicepulse.com.

The broadband Internet service provider has named Christopher Silk as CEO, replacing founder Ravi Sakaria in the seat. Sakaria will continue to serve as chairman of the board.

Sakaria said that the transition allows him to focus on the company’s overall direction and strategy.

According to the company, Silk was brought on to accelerate the growth of the company. He is a 15-year veteran of the telecommunications industry and the former CEO of a private cable company, where he worked on several acquisitions as the “Mom & Pop” Private Cable industry evolved into consolidation, he said.

Deaths

Joan Lucas, 79, on September 1. She served as a faculty member at Princeton University, the Princeton Ballet Society, and Trenton State College. She choreographed 20 musicals for the PJ&B Company at McCarter Theater and the university’s Triangle Club. Her students included actors Bebe Neuwirth and Christopher Reeve.

Mary Stachowicz, 87, on October 13. She worked 35 years for Opinion Research before founding 206 Hardware with her husband, which she ran for 38 years.

Dale Krieger, 59, on October 24. A financial manager and entrepreneur, Krieger founded Onsen for All, a massage therapy spa in Kingston. He also restored historic buildings, such as Princeton Nurseries Village and the Higgins house, the home of Onsen for All.

A private service is set for Wednesday, October 28. Friends may call between 2 and 7 p.m. at the Krieger home, 600 Pretty Brook Road, Princeton.

Facebook Comments