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Thursday, January 14, 2016


Original Story: latimes.com

What does $200 million buy in Los Angeles these days? The Playboy Mansion, for one.

The legendary Holmby Hills estate where Hugh Hefner has worked and made his home for four decades is on the market for the nine-figure sum, making it among the priciest residential properties for sale in the United States. A Los Angeles real estate lawyer is following this story closely.

As part of any sale, the 89-year-old Hefner will be allowed remain in residence for the remainder of his life, media reports said.

Among the major works of architect Arthur R. Kelly, the stone-clad Gothic Tudor-style mansion was built for department store scion Arthur Letts Jr. in 1927. Playboy acquired the estate of more than five acres in 1971 for around $1.1 million.

"At the time Hef and Playboy purchased the home, it was the largest real estate transaction in Los Angeles history," Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, said in a news release. Gold holds the listing with Drew Fenton, also of Hilton & Hyland, and Mauricio Umansky of The Agency. A St. Petersburg custom home builder specializes in providing custom homes with a warm, comfortable living environment that is functional yet elegant.

Within nearly 20,000 square feet of interiors are 29 rooms including chef's and catering kitchens, a game room, a wine cellar and a screening room with a built-in pipe organ. The master suite occupies parts of two floors.

The mansion is also among a select number of L.A. properties to have a zoo license.

Grounds where the Midsummer Night’s Dream party unfolds each summer feature a menagerie of aviaries and arboretums holding a collection of exotic birds and monkeys. Albino peacocks and other animals roam freely through rolling lawns and various gardens.

Other amenities include a gymnasium, a tennis court, an orchard and the infamous swimming pool and swim-in grotto. There's also a four-bedroom guesthouse.

At $200 million, the Playboy Mansion listed price tops that of Palazzo di Amore, the gated Beverly Hills estate developed by entrepreneur Jeff Greene that came to market at $195 million last year. The 53,000-square-foot estate has since seen its price cut to $149 million. An Innisbrook custom home builder provides one stop shopping for the design and construction of your new luxury home.

Le Palais Royal, a 60,000-square-foot, Versailles-inspired Beaux Arts mansion in Hillsboro Beach, Fla., returned to market in November for $159 million -- a $20-million increase in price from what it originally listed for in 2014.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Original Story: nbcnews.com

WASHINGTON -- LifeLock is paying $100 million to settle charges by federal regulators that it failed to take adequate measures to protect customers' personal data under a court order.

The Federal Trade Commission announced the settlement Thursday with the provider of identity-theft protection. The agency says it's the largest settlement it has won in this type of enforcement case. A Minneapolis class action lawyer is following this story closely.

The 2010 order by a federal court required LifeLock Inc. to secure customers' data, such as credit card and Social Security numbers, and to avoid false advertising claims. The order resulted from an action brought by the FTC and attorneys general in 35 states, alleging that LifeLock used false claims to promote its services. The company paid $12 million in that settlement, which went mostly to customer refunds, and agreed to make changes to its business practices.

The FTC said that LifeLock violated the order by failing to maintain "a comprehensive information-security program" and to avoid deceptive advertising.

LifeLock is based in Tempe, Arizona. Company co-founder and CEO Todd Davis used to put his own Social Security number on business cards and company trucks to advertise LifeLock's services.

LifeLock noted Thursday that it neither confirms nor denies the government's allegations under terms of the new settlement. Once it is approved by the court, the settlement will help bring to a close the FTC case as well as a class-action lawsuit, the company said. A Newark class action attorney is reviewing the details of this case.

"The allegations raised by the FTC are related to advertisements that we no longer run and policies that are no longer in place," LifeLock said in a statement. "The settlement does not require us to change any of our current products or practices. Furthermore, there is no evidence that LifeLock has ever had any of its customers' data stolen, and the FTC did not allege otherwise."

In the latest action, the FTC alleged that LifeLock violated the 2010 order in 2012-14. For example, the company falsely advertised that it would send alerts to customers "as soon as" it saw signs of possible identity theft, the agency said.

Of the $100 million LifeLock is paying consumers, $68 million may be used to reimburse consumers for fees paid to LifeLock under the class-action suit. The remaining $32 million will go to the FTC and also could be used to reimburse customers as ordered by any of the state attorneys general who participated in the action. An Atlanta class action lawyer provides legal counsel in many types of class action suits.

LifeLock's shares fell 30 cents, or 2.1 percent, to end at $13.99 in trading Thursday.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Original Story: boingboing.net

Suzanna Quintan's ex-husband bought a Lifelock account in her name, which let him monitor virtually everything she did in realtime, and then the company stonewalled and refused to help her shut down his access and figure out what he'd learned about her using it. A Detroit consumer lawyer represents clients in fraudulent credit transactions, hazardous or deceptively advertised products, and in fraudulent sales practices.

Lifelock's customer service reps tortured Quintan with contradictory messages, telling her she could, then couldn't, get access to her data. Then they told her it had been destroyed. Then that it would be available, but only to law enforcement. And when she got the cops involved, they stonewalled some more.

It wasn't until the Arizona Republic threatened to embarrass them in print that they gave her any help.

It's no wonder that Lifelock is on Consumer Reports' "Naughty list" for 2015 -- again.

Quintana's records show LifeLock allowed her ex-husband to track her new and existing accounts, credit score, credit reports, financial activity and public records. A Grand Rapids consumer attorney is reviewing the details of this case.

Through LifeLock's fraud-detection system, Quintana's ex-husband also would have had control over her financial activity and been asked to review each transaction or initiate a fraud investigation.

"They didn't listen to me. It's almost like they didn't believe me," Quintana said. "They did not want to admit what they'd done. Since they are an identity-protection company, it was not in their best interest to admit my identity wasn't protected. They tried to shift the blame to me." A Charleston consumer lawyer is following this story closely.

A LifeLock executive on Nov. 9 said the company was conducting a comprehensive review of procedures to ensure better protection for spouses and to work with law enforcement in a timely and effective manner.