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Sarasota man gets 15 years for Ponzi scheme

Sarasota man gets 15 years for Ponzi scheme

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A Sarasota man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for running a $37 million Ponzi scheme that defrauded nearly 200 people.

A federal judge in Tampa sentenced Beau Diamond on Wednesday. He was convicted in July of 18 counts of fraud and money laundering. Diamond must also repay $23 million to investors.

Prosecutors say Diamond operated the scheme from April 2006 to January 2009 through his company, Diamond Ventures. He told investors he would put their money in foreign exchange currency markets, saying they would receive a monthly return of up to 5 percent. But Diamond used the investments to pay interest payments to prior investors.

Diamond maintains his innocence, and his attorney says he plans to appeal the conviction.


Teen arrested for Urfer Park stabbing

Teen arrested for Urfer Park stabbing

Sarasota, FL - The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 14-year-old Francis Jerauld, a resident of Lahaina Drive, Sarasota, in connection with a stabbing at Urfer Park, near Siesta Key, on Friday night.

The victim and three friends were at the Honore Avenue park around 11 o’clock when they were approached by four teenagers who started an argument. During the altercation the suspect stabbed 18-year old Jose Torres in the upper chest. Torres was transported by BayFlite to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg for treatment.

Detectives learned that Jerauld committed the stabbing after interviewing witnesses. The teen was taken into custody early Saturday morning and charged with Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, a Felony.

16-year-old girls say suspect touched and choked them

Sarasota, FL -- Around 3:00 Friday afternoon, two 16-year-old girls were walking home from school in the area of Prudence Drive and Monica Parkway when they were approached by an unknown male.

The victims say the man, described as a white male around 40 years old, bald with a mustache, 5'9", weighing around 175 pounds, last seen wearing t-shirts and blue jeans, touched one of them on the upper thigh.

The girl slapped the suspect's hand away and that is when he grabbed the girl by the throat and both girls began defending themselves by kicking and punching the suspect. While they were fighting him off, the suspect asked the girls to get into the car or he would put them in it.

The girls continued to fight and were able to get away. The suspect took off, but at this time it isn't clear which direction he took.

The investigation is ongoing and if you have any information please call 941-366-TIPS.

Sarasota County gets a BOOST in grants

Sarasota County gets a BOOST in grants

Sarasota, FL - The Community Foundation of Sarasota County awarded $500,000 in BOOST grants to 38 grantee organizations today.

This is the second year the Community Foundation of Sarasota County's "Building Organizations' Operational Strength Today" BOOST initiative has helped organizations sustain their operations and improve their fundraising capacity. Over the past two years BOOST has given $1.5 million to needy organizations.

Bald eagle hit by car expected to recover

Bald eagle hit by car expected to recover

SARASOTA, Florida (AP) -- A bald eagle hit by a car is on the mend at a wildlife center and is expected to recover.

The large bird was hit by a car on Monday, then taken to a wildlife center in Venice. After coverage of the accident in local media, dozens of people called the wildlife rehab center, concerned about the bird.

See Also: Eggs recovered, bald eagle pair relocated from dangerous area

On Tuesday, center officials said the female eagle did not appear to have any broken bones or serious injuries.

Bald eagles are protected from disturbance by the Florida Administrative Code, as well as two federal laws -- the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.


Arctic front heading to Manatee and Sarasota counties

Arctic front heading to Manatee and Sarasota counties

Sarasota County, FL - An arctic front is heading to the Bay area, including a Hard Freeze Watch in effect for Sarasota, Manatee, and all surrounding counties except Pinellas.

* Lake Wind Advisory in effect this afternoon into the evening. Sustained winds of 20mph likely with higher gusts on area lakes.

* High Surf Advisory in effect this afternoon through Tuesday. 5 to 8 foot surf expected with offshore waves of 10 to possibly 15 feet. Dangerous rip currents likely.

* Small Craft Advisory in effect through Tuesday. Seas build today to 5 - 8 feet then 9 - 12 feet tonight through Monday. Slow improvements into Tuesday.

* Gale Warning in effect for offshore waters out 20 nautical miles and beyond. Winds increase to 25 - 35 kts with gusts over 40 kts. Seas 10 - 15 feet.

Not enough wreaths to honor veterans at Sarasota National Cemetery

Not enough wreaths to honor veterans at Sarasota National Cemetery

Sarasota, Florida - Veterans honored other veterans buried at Sarasota National Cemetery at 9810 State Road 72 on Saturday morning as part of Wreaths Across America. Ceremonial wreaths were placed by individuals from each branch of the service.

It was part of a national event that started in Arlington and takes place on this day at the same time at every national cemetery in the United States.

Photo Gallery: Military Wreaths Ceremony

Bob Bayless is a major with the Civil Air Patrol. He says the community purchased nearly 2,500 wreaths but that wasn't enough for the 2,700 gravesites they needed to place wreaths on. He says they placed flags on the additional gravesites but are hoping to have wreaths for every gravesite next year.