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Monday, Feb 26, 2024

Around the Valleys

Antelope Valley Lancaster A doctor in Lancaster has been convicted by a federal jury of participating in a Medicare fraud scheme. Dr. Kanagasabai Kanakeswaran, an internist, was found guilty of conspiracy to pay or receive kickbacks for referring Medicare patients to Star Home Health Resources Inc., a home health agency based in La Verne. Medicare paid around $4.1 million to Star based on claims for patients that Kanakeswaran had referred between 2008 and 2016, according to a news release from the Department of Justice. Kanakeswaran is one of 14 medical professionals who were charged last July in the Central District of California for their involvement in the Star scheme, which cost Medicare $147 million in total. Kanakeswaran faces up to 25 years in federal prison. Mojave Stratolaunch Systems announced a new line of launch vehicles that includes a space plane. The company has built the world’s largest airplane at the Mojave Air & Space Port to take these vehicles carrying satellites up to an altitude of 35,000 feet and then launch them into Earth orbit. Chief Executive Jean Floyd said that the new vehicles will offer a flexible launch capability unlike any other. “Whatever the payload, whatever the orbit, getting your satellite into space will soon be as easy as booking an airline flight,” Floyd said in a statement. The launch vehicles include Pegasus, a rocket that can carry a payload up to 1,000 pounds and has had more than 30 successful launches. Pegasus was developed by Orbital ATK Inc. prior to that company’s acquisition by Northrop Grumman Corp. The first launch by Stratolaunch is set for 2020. Under development are two versions of a medium launch vehicle that can carry payloads between 7,500 pounds and 13,000 pounds, and the reusable space plane that will eventually have a version capable of carrying a crew. The space plane is in the design study phase. Conejo Valley Agoura Hills Nuance Communications has renewed its lease for 34,256 square feet at 29903 Agoura Road. The restructured lease, negotiated by the Los Angeles office of real estate advisory firm Newmark Knight Frank, indicates a strategic 13-percent space reduction delivering both a rent savings and tenant concessions to Nuance, a software firm that sells the speech recognition program Dragon. Newmark’s Executive Managing Directors David Kluth and Josef Farrar represented Nuance in the transaction while property owner Norm Kravetz represented his company Realty Bancorp Equities. Kluth and Farrar represented TouchCommerce, Newmark’s original client (which Nuance acquired in 2016) on their relocation to the site in 2014. San Fernando Valley Patrick Nygren, the former top executive at Wells Fargo in the San Fernando Valley, has joined Union Bank as regional president for Los Angeles and the Central Coast. In his new role Nygren will work out of the Woodland Hills office overseeing branch banking operations at 86 branches with 580 employees in an area that includes Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Nygren had been the former regional president in the San Fernando Valley for Wells Fargo Bank, a position he took last year. He serves on the board of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association and is active in nonprofit organizations in the Valley region that serve children. “I see this as a wonderful opportunity to bring my experience to help Union Bank continue to grow as we assist our clients, whether individuals or small businesses, with achieving their financial goals,” Nygren said in a statement. Chatsworth Lowe’s Cos. Inc. will shut down all Orchard Supply Hardware stores nationwide — including four locations in the Valley and one in Thousand Oaks — by February, the company announced in an earnings report. The locations include 18060 Chatsworth St. in Granada Hills, 5960 Sepulveda Blvd. in Van Nuys, 19800 Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills, 3100 Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta and 1934 E. Avenida De Los Arboles in Thousand Oaks. North Carolina-based Lowe’s acquired the regional hardware chain out of bankruptcy in 2013 for $205 million. “While it was a necessary business decision to exit Orchard Supply Hardware, decisions that impact our people are never easy,” said Lowe’s Chief Executive Marvin Ellison in a statement. “We will be providing outplacement services for impacted associates, and they will be given priority status if they choose to apply for other Lowe’s positions.” Glendale California Credit Union honored 18 first-year Los Angeles Unified School District teachers during a Los Angeles Sparks basketball game at Staples Center on Aug. 5. The ceremony was part of the Glendale credit union’s Rookie of the Year program, which recognizes new teachers for their engaging teaching style and professionalism. “We are proud to honor each of the 2018 LAUSD Rookies of the Year for their outstanding commitment to finding creative ways to engage and educate their students,” California Credit Union Chief Executive Steve O’Connell said in a statement. Valley honorees included Monica Flores of Camellia Elementary School in North Hollywood, Ramon Jacinto of San Fernando Middle School in San Fernando, Brooke Moral of Roy Romer Middle School in North Hollywood, Kristofer Ornelas of Grover Cleveland Charter High School in Reseda, Amelia Peck of Valley Alternative Magnet Span School in Lake Balboa and Dorothy Williams-Kohlmeyer of Patrick Henry VPA Magnet Middle School in Granada Hills. Colliers International has acquired the Glendale office of CBC Advisors, a Coldwell Banker Commercial affiliate, in an effort to deepen its Tri-Cities footprint. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Bill Ukropina and Gregory Barsamian, co-founders of the former CBC Advisors brokerage, will now act as senior executive vice presidents at the new Colliers Tri-Cities office at 701 N. Brand Blvd. “By joining a world-class organization, we will be able to provide even greater services to our clients,” Ukropina said in a statement. “Leveraging Colliers’ size, platform and strong infrastructure will help take our business to the next level.” Known as the Tri-Cities office, the new Glendale office marks Colliers’ 10th branch in greater Los Angeles, including ones in Encino and Valencia to serve the Valley region. With the planting of this Glendale flag, Colliers continues its companywide expansion. In the first half of 2018, Colliers acquired CBC offices in Utah and Alaska. “This is another advancement for our firm in the Greater Los Angeles Region,” Colliers Senior Managing Director James Malone said in a statement. “This acquisition provides us with an experienced team of professionals in the important submarkets of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena, as well as reinforces our already strong presence in the area.” Colliers’ Tri-Cities office will consist of 10 brokers. Ventura County Simi Valley AeroVironment Inc. has donated two Quantix drones to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Cadets in the military academy’s Center for Innovation and Engineering and in the Geography & Environmental Engineering Department will use the unmanned aircraft to learn how to collect data and create actionable intelligence. “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with and support the prestigious West Point Military Academy as we work together to advance unique and innovative solutions using the Quantix system,” said Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment, in a statement. The Quantix is a four-propeller aircraft that takes off like a helicopter and can be operated by an Android tablet. AeroVironment designs, manufactures and tests its unmanned aircraft in Simi Valley. Thousand Oaks Amazon.com Inc. appears on the cusp of occupying square-footage at a warehouse in Newbury Park, according to a Thousand Oaks Acorn report. While no lease-signature or move-in date has been officially announced, the e-commerce giant, which has been posting openings for various positions in the Rancho Conejo area for months, will presumably land at Sares-Regis Group’s 500,000-square-foot Conejo Spectrum Business Park. Colliers International has been leasing space at the newly minted Thousand Oaks industrial park, which is located not far from Amgen Inc.’s sprawling corporate campus. The complex’s glass-and-concrete structures range from about 37,000 square feet to 99,000. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant, which employs more than 550,000 people globally, already has a massive fulfillment center in San Bernardino. The company also runs smaller sorting centers, including one in Chatsworth. It remains unclear how many jobs will be generated at the Newbury Park site, but such positions as warehouse fulfillment associate, sortation associate and driver trainer have been solicited online.

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