Daily Business Report — April 10, 2013
San Diego Restaurant Owners Indicted
for Allegedly Cheating Employees Out of Pay
California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su and San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis announced a grand jury indictment charging two defendants with a total of 21 felony counts in an ongoing payroll scheme at the State Street Grill, a restaurant located at 5131 College Ave. in San Diego. David Dadon, 61, and his son, Barry Dadon, 27, have both been charged with workers compensation fraud, payroll tax evasion, sales tax evasion and grand theft of labor from 23 victims. Barry Dadon pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on April 4 and was released on a $200,000 bail. The elder Dadon was arraigned Tuesday.
An investigation revealed that the restaurant hired employees to work but did not pay them initially and then paid them less than $5 an hour, according to the indictment. Nearly two dozen employees, servers and cooks, were underpaid in this manner. Many others were trained and worked eight hours a day for seven days, then terminated with no pay at all, according to the indictment. “This is wage theft, pure and simple, said Su. The employees “had their wages stolen right out of their pockets,” she said. The joint investigation revealed that wages of over $350,000 were unpaid to multiple victims.
Gov. Brown and China Ministry of Commerce
Partner to Boost Bilateral Trade and Investment
Beijing, China — Kicking off California’s trade and investment mission to China, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. met with China’s Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng Tuesday and signed a landmark agreement with the Ministry of Commerce to bolster economic ties and cooperation between California and China. “While California seems relatively small compared to the vastness of China, the innovation, the creativity of Silicon Valley, our medical advances, the Internet and various other technologies make California, I believe, a very valued partner for China,” said Brown in the meeting with China’s Minister of Commerce. “I see the meeting today as just another step in a long history of increasing mutual understanding and collaboration.”
The agreement, the first-of-its-kind between a subnational entity and the Ministry of Commerce, establishes a joint working group that includes California, the Ministry of Commerce and leaders from six provinces—autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government—Jiangsu, Inner Mongolia, Shanghai, Shandong, Guangdong and Chongqing, representing more than 350 million people.
Outlook Bright for San Diego Economy
A surging construction industry and an improving job market are helping drive optimism about San Diego’s economy, KPBS reports. The San Diego region’s index of leading economic indicators jumped nearly a full point in March. University of San Diego economist Alan Gin compiles the information. He said a surge in the number of multi-family building permits and a decline in first-time unemployment claims led the charge. An increase in online Help-Wanted advertising, strong performance from local stocks and a perception that the national economy is doing well all point to an improving local economy through 2013. The region’s steady economic recovery is expected to continue. “I think we’ll have good job growth,” Gin said.
Rock Stars of Innovation Summit
Set for Thursday at Hard Rock Hotel
The Rock Stars of Innovation Summit, a life sciences and technology industry conference, kicks off with the VC Jam Session Thursday at San Diego’s Hard Rock Hotel. The conference will open with keynote presenter Chris Anderson, former WIRED editor-in-chief and CEO of 3D Robotics. Napoleone Ferrara, molecular biologist and senior deputy director for basic sciences at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, will be the closing speaker. The conference is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Downtown hotel. To register, visit: www. connect.org/rock-stars-of-innovation.
2012 Saw Increase in Violent Crime
And Property Crimes, SANDAG Reports
Violent crime in the San Diego region last year increased for the first time since 2001, while property crimes increased for the first time since 2003, according to the SANDAG annual regional crime report. The violent crime rate (homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) rose 7 percent to 3.77 per 1,000 residents, while the property crime rate (burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft) rose 6 percent to 22.15. The number of homicides across the region saw the greatest one-year increase: 107 homicides were reported in 2012, a 30 percent increase from 2011. Over the past 30 years, homicides in the San Diego region peaked at 278 in 1991 and decreased fairly steadily to 86 in 1998. Since then, the number has fluctuated, but has not dropped below 67 (in 2010) or exceeded 130 (in 2003).
Clinical Trial Evaluates Engineered Smallpox
Vaccine as Potential Liver Cancer Killer
Researchers at UC San Diego’s School of Medicine are evaluating a genetically-engineered virus — Pexa-Vec — to slow the progression of liver cancer. The virus is used in the smallpox vaccine. “This clinical trial is evaluating a drug already known to be safe as a vaccine. We are applying it as a potential destructive agent for liver cancer,” said Tony Reid, professor of medicine. “The goal of the trial is to evaluate if Pexa-Vec can extend patients’ survival through its ability to selectively target and kill cancer cells, cut off the tumor’s blood supply and activate the body’s own immune system to fight the cancer.” Patients who are eligible for the clinical trial have a diagnosis of HCC and have been found to be unresponsive to sorafenib, the only systemic therapy currently approved by the FDA.
Ad Club Sponsors Seminar on Creative Advertising
The San Diego Advertising Club will present “Is Creative Still King?” a seminar program on the creative process in advertising, from 8 to 10 a.m. on April 24 at the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley Hotel, 901 Camino del Rio South, San Diego. The public is invited to attend. The program will feature three types of creative environments, including a creative ad agency, a digital marketing agency and an in-house, client-side agency. Speakers will include Greg Carson, partner and chief creative officer, Mering Carson; Oliver Duncan, executive creative director, Digitaria; an Liz Olson, creative director, CareFusion Corp. Cost to attend is $45 for Ad Club members, $55 for nonmembers and $35 for students. For more information, visit www.sandiegoadclub.com or phone (619) 255-2281.
Procopio Adds Associate Aimée E. Axelrod
Aimée E. Axelrod has joined the Procopio law firm as an associate in its Downtown San Diego office. She is a member of its labor and employment practices group. Axelrod represents employers in California state and federal litigation involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, unfair competition and wage and hour claims. She also provides employment counseling. Prior to joining Procopio, Axelrod was an associate at Littler Mendelson in San Francisco where she handled litigation, arbitration, and counseling matters for employers. She received a bachelor’s degree from Hollins University and her law degree from San Diego School of Law.
Bistro West Hires Sous Chef
Jeff Campagna has joined Carlsbad’s Bistro West as sous chef. Campagna recently worked as a private chef for a variety of Northern California businesses, including Google. He has more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant business. He will assist Bistro West’s Executive Chef Eugenio Martignago and Chef Jason Connolly.
SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOPS
Upcoming SCORE San Diego workshops:
April 11 – Financing Your Business – 9 a.m. to noon at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; early registration $49, $59 after April 9).
April 12 – Intellectual Property – 9 to 11:30 a.m. at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., No. 550, San Diego 92101; early registration $39, $49 after April 10).
April 13 – Business Plan 1: How to Develop Your Best Competitive Advantage – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at National University – Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92011; early registration $79, $89 after April 11).
April 13 – QuickBooks Basic – 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at University of Phoenix (9645 Granite Ridge Dr., San Diego 92123; early registration $49, $59 after April 11).
April 13 – QuickBooks Advanced – 1 to 4 p.m. at University of Phoenix (9645 Granite Ridge Dr., San Diego 92123; early registration $49, $59 after April 11).
April 15 – Are You Ready to Start Your Own Business? – 9 a.m. to noon at University of Phoenix (9645 Granite Ridge Dr., San Diego 92123; early registration $15, $20 after April 13).
April 16 – Financial Statements 1: What They Are – 9 a.m. to noon at University of Phoenix (9645 Granite Ridge Dr., San Diego 92123; early registration $49, $59 after April 14).
April 16 – Financial Statements 2: How to Use Them – 1 to 4 p.m. at University of Phoenix (9645 Granite Ridge Dr., San Diego 92123; early registration $49, $59 after April 14).
April 17 – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at National University – Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92011; early registration $79, $89 after April 15).
For more information regarding SCORE San Diego’s workshop series and locations, call (619) 557-7272.
David Dadon, San Diego Restaurant Owners Allegedly Cheating Employees Out of Pay