Former CEO charged with fraud
Steven Hoffenberg, who launched an unsuccessful bid last year to take over the New York Post, was arrested yesterday on fraud and obstruction of justice charges for allegedly falsifying the records of his financial company.
Mr. Hoffenberg, former chairman and chief executive of Towers Financial Corp., a New York-based bill collection company, surrendered to federal marshals in Manhattan.
The Justice Department probed his records after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Mr. Hoffenberg and Towers a year ago, accusing them of swindling about 2,800 investors out of roughly $215 million.
Service to call at city's port
A new South American joint service, by the Nippon Yusen Kaisha line and Norwegian Specialized Autocarriers, has begun calling at the port of Baltimore.
The service, which began in late January, will call at Baltimore twice a month with its three car/truck carrying vessels. It connects Baltimore with ports in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay and with west coast South American ports, as well as Panama and the Dominican Republic.
Saturn may reopen factory
The Saturn division of the General Motors Corp. is considering reopening a shuttered G.M. factory in Michigan to increase its production, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.
Saturn officials have been preparing to make a case to GM to open a second plant, arguing that the capacity at Saturn's Spring Hill, Tenn., plant is insufficient to meet demand. Originally, Saturn had hoped to open a second plant in Spring Hill, but the United Automobile Workers union resisted that idea, pushing instead for Saturn to use an idled factory.
Signet to buy Pioneer Financial
Signet Banking Corp. will acquire Pioneer Financial Corp. of Chester, Va., for about $60 million in stock, the companies announced yesterday.
Pioneer is the parent of Pioneer Federal Savings Bank, a $400 million bank with 11 branches in Virginia. Signet, with $11.8 billion in assets, has 239 branches in Virginia, Maryland and Washington.
Under the agreement, each share of Pioneer will be acquired for 0.6232 share of Signet stock, which closed yesterday at $37.875 a share. There are about 2.5 million Pioneer shares outstanding.
Constellation may sell centers
Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s real estate subsidiary, Constellation Real Estate Group Inc., is talking to several companies, including First Washington Realty Trust of Chevy Chase, about the sale of two of its shopping centers.
Involved in the discussions are Valley Centre, a 225,000-square-foot complex in Owings Mills, and First State Plaza, a 162,000-square-foot center in Wilmington, Del.