Boca Raton

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/04/business/an-oasis-rich-in-shady-operators.html?pagewanted=1 …”in the past year, this expensive enclave has experienced the financial equivalent of a cancer cluster. Six local corporations, including College Bound, have fallen under SEC investigation; a seventh has been shut down and its chairman arrested and accused of running a Ponzi scheme. Dozens of other companies based here are little more than corporate shells created by boiler-room brokers, or financially flimsy companies whose chief products seem to be their own stock and news releases boasting of their prospects.
   Regulators policing the penny stock market refer to the area’s unsavory brokers as the Boca Bunch, and state investigators have dubbed the area “the Maggot Mile”. To be sure, some internationally known companies are based here. W.R.Grace moved its headquarters here last year [1991]“…
…According to court records in Miami, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, which has since emerged as one of the largest bank frauds in history, opened a branch here just to cater to Munther Ismael Bilbeisi, a Jordanian businessman and Boca Raton resident indicted in August 1991 on tax evasion charges stemming from a coffee-smuggling scheme financed by BCCI…
…Florida’s laws permit bankrupt ex-millionaires to protect a handsome amount of assets from creditors…
…[in] the view of Mr. Del Raso “Boca is different” he said. “If you have money here, you can be ‘in’ real fast, no questions asked”…

 

Area history:

http://www.answers.com/topic/boca-raton-florida    .. According to MessageLabs (an email security vendor), Boca Raton is the “spam capital of the world”, being the source of a surprisingly high fraction of all spam generated worldwide, which is not surprising given the area’s appeal, the personal fortunes of typical spammers, and the area’s notorious past as a favorite of organized crime.  According to the Miami Herald, the city has a long history of involvement in confidence tricks. Richard C. Breeden, former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, once called the city “the only coastal city in Florida where there are more sharks on land than in the water”. In the keynote address to a computer security conference on June 8, 2004, Bruce Sterling described the city as the “Capone-Chicago of cyber fraud”.

On July 22, 2004, Boca Raton resident Scott Levine was charged with the largest computer crime indictment in United States history. Federal prosecutors allege that Levine unlawfully accessed Acxiom, a database of consumer data aggregator, to steal detailed personal information about millions of persons.

Organized crime –

According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, there are nine known gangs operating in Boca Raton…”

Higher Education:

Florida Atlantic University, founded in 1961, held its first classes in Boca Raton in 1964. FAU is a member of the State University System of Florida and the largest university in Boca Raton. It has over 26,000 students, 3,000 of which are residential students, and a Division I athletics program.

Palm Beach State College has had a Boca Raton campus, adjacent to Florida Atlantic University, since 1971.

Lynn University (originally founded as Marymount College, then renamed the College of Boca Raton in 1974, and finally Lynn University in 1991) is a four year co-educational institution re-named to honor the Lynn (Eugene & Christine) family who continue to be generous benefactors of the university.

Digital Media Arts College, founded in 2001, offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer animation and graphic design.

Everglades University

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Boca Businesses:
 
IBM – the IBM Campus was sold in 1996, renamed twice and bought in 2004 by Blackstone Group, who renamed once again to the Boca Corporate Center and Campus.
 
Seisint, Inc. – founder Hank Asher; operator of MATRIX
“One of Giuliani Partners’ clients during this time included an admitted drug smuggler and millionaire founder of companies that perform electronic information gathering (datamining) on individuals, Hank Asher, who according to a shareholder in the company, hired Giuliani for his “influence with the federal government to enable Mr. Asher to take an active role in Seisint as a chief executive officer despite the allegations about his drug dealing.” Giuliani helped Asher’s company get $12 million in government grants.  After Asher’s past was publicly revealed, he resigned from the company….Giuliani Partners had been paid: $2 million a year in fees, a commission on sales of Seisint products, and 800,000 warrants for Seisint stock, which would prove valuable when Seisent was sold to Lexis Nexis for $775 million. One investor sued the board, claiming that Giuliani’s contributions had not been worth the large amount paid. The Seisent database product that Giuliani Partners was to help market, the Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange, was itself criticized on civil liberties grounds, and within two years the program had folded. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuliani_Partners
“Asher began operating as a freelance computer programmer. In 1992, he started a business Database Technologies that used clusters of PCs to provide parallel supercomputing in place of more expensive mainframes and mini computers. His first contract was a data mining application for the insurance industry performed on records bought from the Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles. DBT Online bought Asher out for US$147 million in 1999 after the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration suspended their contracts following revelations with Asher’s involvements in drug dealing in the Bahamas and concerns that the company could potentially monitor targets of investigations.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Asher  
—“from terrorists to pedophiles….data guru Hank Asher’s latest venture, the cryptically named TLFO. Asher made hundreds of millions of dollars by founding two Boca Raton companies, Database Technologies and Seisint and later selling his stakes in them….his work led to the arrest of the Beltway snipers who killed 10 people in the Washington, D.C., area in 2002. “The systems we made were for terrorists, but they work for pedophiles,” he said…Running TLFO is Ken Hunter, a steely-eyed former chief postal inspector who has been tracking pedophiles for 40 years. A decade ago, the Postal Service had tightened the clamps on child porn…
Asher is spending big money on real estate. In anticipation of hiring hundreds of employees, he late last year leased 143,000 square feet at the former IBM headquarters, now known as Boca Corporate Center. He took an option to lease an additional 500,000 square feet there.”  http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/local_news/epaper/2009/03/14/0314asher.html

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