GRAND SLAM: The PGA will hold this year’s Grand Slam of Golf tournament at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes after signing a deal with the course this week. The tournament, which will take place Oct. 20-21, hosts the winners of the PGA’s four major events: the Open Championship, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open and the Masters. The deal with Trump National marks a return to the mainland for the annual tournament, which has been held in either Hawaii or Bermuda since 1994.
BIG BID: Mall operator Simon Property Group of Indianapolis has offered to buy Santa Monica’s Macerich Co. for $14.4 billion. Macerich had previously refused talks regarding a possible deal with its rival. However, Simon, which announced last year that it had built up a 3.6 percent stake in Macerich, has put in an offer worth $22.4 billion: $14.4 billion in cash and stock, plus the assumption of more than $6 billion in Macerich debt. Simon is the largest shopping mall owner in the country while Macerich is the third largest.
DIRECTOR GUILTY: Randall Miller, the director of Gregg Allman biographical movie “Midnight Rider,” pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing in last year’s death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones, who was hit by a train during a shoot. Miller was sentenced March 9 and will serve up to two years in jail in Wayne County, Ga., as well as eight years of probation. He will also pay a $25,000 fine and be restricted from supervising film crews during that time. All charges were waived against his wife, Jody Savin, a producer on the film. As part of a plea agreement, Jay Sedrish, the film’s executive producer, will get 10 years probation and pay a $10,000 fine.
RAMP UP: Hiring is expected to be at a solid pace during the second quarter, according to a survey released by Manpower Inc. The Milwaukee staffing company’s quarterly survey of employers in Los Angeles and Orange counties found that 23 percent plan to increase staff, 5 percent plan layoffs and 66 percent plan to keep staffing levels constant. The numbers, in line with national averages, are a significant improvement from three months ago.
FRAUD CHARGES: Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has accused accounting firm Pricewaterhouse-Coopers of fraud, saying the company lied about its capabilities in order to secure a $70 million contract with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that the firm botched the implementation of a new DWP billing system, leading to thousands of customers being charged incorrectly and to losses of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the department.
FEDS PROBING: The FBI and federal prosecutors are examining people hired by hedge fund manager William Ackman about potential manipulation of Herbalife Ltd. stock, according to the Wall Street Journal. The government is investigating whether those hired by Ackman, who has alleged the multilevel marketer is a pyramid scheme and made a $1 billion bet against the company, have made false statements about Herbalife’s business model, the newspaper reported. Neither Ackman nor Pershing Square had been served with a subpoena or visited by FBI agents about the probe.
ANOTHER BID: He’s not halfway through his first term yet, but Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is already preparing to run for a second. Garcetti, who was elected in May 2013, has filed the necessary paperwork to start fundraising for his re-election campaign. He also launched his 2017 campaign website, Eric Garcetti for Mayor 2017, on March 9.
SHOCKING RULING: In a move that has shocked the music industry, a jury has ordered Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay $7.4 million to Marvin Gaye’s children, saying their hit song “Blurred Lines” copied from Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” While music industry insiders are weighing the implications of the verdict, the attorney for both Thicke and Williams said he will seek an appeal.
LAYOFFS: Paramount Pictures laid off at least 40 employees last week as a result of restructuring at parent company, Viacom Inc. Viacom executives had issued warnings of possible job cuts at least a month ago. Employees at cable network TV Land, another Viacom subsidiary, have also been affected by an undisclosed number of layoffs.
FTC SUES: The Federal Trade Commission is suing El Segundo satellite TV giant DirecTV for charges of deceptive advertising. The FTC says customers were not notified a two-year contract was a required part of a discounted 12-month programming package. The commission also said it was not clear the cost of the package could go up by as much as $45 a month in the second year and that customers would have to pay up to $480 if they tried to cancel the contract early. DirecTV officials say the company has done nothing wrong.
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