Backward Investor

— When it comes to her personal investing habits, San Diego mayor Susan Golding used to be mired in the so-called "old economy" of chewing gum (William Wrigley Jr., Inc.) and ready-made dessert cakes (Sara Lee). In January of 1999, Golding sold those stocks, which she valued at between $10,000 and $100,000 for Wrigley, the same range for Sara Lee, according to her latest financial-disclosure statement, filed March 30 of this year. And during the last months of 1999, Golding moved into high-tech and the Internet. She reported acquiring between $1000 and $10,000 of Qualcomm on March 25, 1999. Eight months later, on November 11, 1999, she reported acquiring yet more Qualcomm, which she also valued in the $1000 to $10,000 range. On December 30, 1999, the mayor's report says, she snapped up between $1000 and $10,000 of stock in Inktomi, another Internet-stock play. On December 22, 1999, she said she acquired between $1000 and $10,000 worth of Bell Atlantic, which she reported unloading just five days later on December 27, 1999. Before that, on December 2, 1999, Golding said she acquired a position in Nextel Communications, which she valued at between $1000 and $10,000. She reported she sold that stock less than a month later, on December 30, 1999. But some of the disclosures suggest the mayor might need the help of an old-fashioned calendar. For instance, Golding reports acquiring between $1000 and $10,000 of stock in Oracle, the database-software maker, on December 22, 1999. But she reports disposing of the same holding almost 12 months earlier, on January 22, 1999. -- MP

Porn and Taxes

Just in time for April 15, the federal government has charged a well-known operator of dirty bookstores in San Diego with evading more than $181,000 in income taxes. Steven D. Wiener, whom a federal accusation dated March 30 says is the sole owner of Mercury Books, Inc., allegedly filed a "false and fraudulent" corporate income tax return understating his company's 1994 gross as $444,627 when it was really $978,656. According to a statement filed with the accusation, Wiener has agreed to plead guilty under terms of a plea bargain negotiated with federal prosecutors. According to another document filed in the case, he is out of custody on a $50,000 personal-appearance bond and may make "day trips to Mexico." Wiener's father Donald was given three years' probation by a San Diego municipal court judge in August 1995 after cutting a deal with prosecutors regarding allegations he had sold pictures of simulated torture and scatological acts. He is now reported to live in Mexico. Sentencing is set for June 19. -- KP

Middle-aged Style

DM News, a trade magazine for the so-called "direct marketing" business, has this blurb about the mailing list of a local magazine: "This list contains subscribers to San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine. These subscribers are sophisticated, style-conscious, Southern California trendsetters who appreciate the finer things in life. These consumers attend live theater regularly, entertain guests at home, and donate to their favorite charities. Sixty-three percent are women who are mostly professional, well-educated, married with children, and take great pride in their homes and gardens. Their average age is 54, and they have an average household income of $122,814. This file is highly recommended for general merchandise, home decor, gardening, travel, fundraising offers, and more." -- MP

Life's a Beach

A San Diego training consultant, busted last year for kicking back $10,000 to the chief executive officer of San Bernardino County in exchange for a contract, has been sentenced to six months in jail and a $14,000 fine. According to an account in the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Ronald Canham told U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson that there were extenuating circumstances behind his evildoing. "His 11-year marriage had broken up, he had left Tucson, Arizona, to live at the beach in San Diego and was working at home, away from the steadying influences of friends and colleagues. He has since returned to Tucson to live. 'We are all frail,' Wilson responded. 'It only takes a moment of weakness. On the other hand, this happened twice.'" -- MP

Contributors: Ky Plaskon, Matt Potter

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