Facebook said it expects a fine of up to $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating whether the social network violated its users' privacy. The company set aside $3 billion in its quarterly earnings report Wednesday as a contingency against the possible penalty but noted that the 'matter remains unresolved.' The one-time charge slashed Facebook's first-quarter net income considerably, although revenue grew by 25% in the period. The FTC has been looking into whether Facebook broke its own 2011 agreement promising to protect user privacy. Investors shrugged off the charge and sent the company's stock up nearly 5% to $190.89 in after-hours trading. EMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson, however, called it a 'significant development' and noted that any settlement is likely to go beyond a mere dollar amount. '(Any) settlement with the FTC may impact the ways advertisers can use the platform in the future,' she said. Facebook has had several high-profile privacy lapses in the past couple of years. The FTC has been looking into Facebook's involvement with the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica scandal since last March. That company accessed the data of as many as 87 million Facebook users without their consent. In addition to the FTC investigation, Facebook faces several others in the U.S. and Europe, including by the Irish Data Protection Commission , and others in Belgium and Germany. Ireland is Facebook's lead privacy regulator for Europe. The social network said its net income was $2.43 billion, or 85 cents per share in the January-March period. That's down 51% from $4.99 billion, or $1.69 per share, a year earlier, largely as a result of the $3 billion charge. Revenue grew 26% to $15.08 billion from a year earlier. Excluding the charge, Facebook earned $1.89 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.62 per share and revenue of $14.98 billion. Facebook's monthly user base grew 8% to 2.38 billion. Daily users grew 8% to 1.56 billion.
It’s a concept he’s seen in Europe for years, but one that hasn’t quite taken hold stateside, at least in the area. It’s one of the reasons JWB Real Estate Capital President Alexander Sifakis is putting forward a plan to build 18 studio apartments made of shipping containers in Downtown Jacksonville. “There’s a lot of other projects going on Downtown that have already changed the landscape of Downtown over the last two years, and there’s been so much momentum over the last five years, and a lot of great things going on. And I think the next two or three years are going to be pretty transformational, so it’s just... hoping to be a small part of that,” Sifakis says. Sifakis says he has a passion and interest in the revitalization of Downtown. While his company has worked in Brooklyn and Springfield, this is the first project in the core. “Hoping to get some interest in Downtown Jax, and for other people to think outside the box,” he says. GALLERY: Shipping container apartment complex proposed for Downtown Jacksonville The proposal going in front of the Downtown Development Review Board next month is for an apartment community on Ashley Street, in an area known as the Cathedral District. Sifakis says they wanted to be in Downtown, and that area seemed to be a good fit. “They’re really pushing more residential in the District, and this is a way to get some great density on a really small lot,” he says. The plan is for each shipping container unit to be assembled off site, then stacked up on the property. The units would be 320 square feet- eight feet wide and 40 feet long- with a kitchen, washer/dryer, bathroom, walk-in closet and more. There is not any included parking. The development is expected to cost around $1.2 million to $1.3 million, but Sifakis says they want to start rent around $550/month. If given approval from the DDRB, Sifakis says they will seek a REV grant from the Downtown Investment Authority, which is essentially a rebate on future property tax payouts, relating to the impact a project has on the community. He hopes they can get all the needed approvals in 3-5 months, with construction taking another 1-3 months. That could mean project completion within eight months. “Might be a little optimistic,” Sifakis says. If this project goes well, Sifakis says he would look at bringing the concept to other plots in the City in the future.
The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says a recent child sex sting operation led by their Internet Crimes Against Children detectives has netted 9 arrests, including a former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office corrections officer. According to the sheriff's office, the suspects arrested during the two-week 'Operation Downpour' range in age from 18 to 34-years-old and come from all over the country. Locally, of the 9 arrested, three are from Duval County, one is from St. Johns County, and one is from Clay County. There were also one each from Alachua and Flagler counties. But deputies say one of the suspects is from McChord, Washington; another suspect is from South Gate, California. The sheriff's office says this operation involved undercover detectives posing as children online to arrange for suspects to meet with them in St. Johns County. The arrest reports show the detectives posed as children between the ages of 11-14 during this operation, though in a couple of instances the detectives posed as the guardian of a child. Deputies say all the suspects arrested made plans to meet and traveled to the location in an attempt to solicit children. FULL ARREST DETAILS: Clarence Thomas, 28, Jacksonville Ct. 1: Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Behavior Ct. 2: Traveling to meet a minor for sex Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device Ct. 4: Solicit a child for sex Bonds totaled $12,500 The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office says Thomas does not have a booking photo to release, due to Florida’s 119 exemption. WOKV has learned Thomas is exempt because is a former corrections officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Orion Healy, 19, Palm Coast Ct. 1: Traveling to meet a minor for sex Ct. 2: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device Ct. 3: Solicit a child for sex Ct. 4: Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery Ct. 5: Tampering with Evidence Bonds totaled $45,000 Michael Beck II, 21, Jacksonville Ct. 1: Solicit a child for sex Ct. 2: Traveling to meet a minor for sex Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device Ct. 4: Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery Ct. 5: Transmission of Harmful Material to Mino Ct. 6: Possession of Marijuana Bonds Totaled $33,000 Raymomd Wygant, 25, McChord, Washington Ct. 1: Solicit a child for sex Ct. 2: Traveling to meet a minor for sex Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device Ct. 4: Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery Bonds Totaling $32,500 Ethan Persson, 18, St. Augustine Ct. 1: Solicit a child for sex Ct. 2: Traveling to meet a minor for sex Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device Ct. 4: Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery Bonds Totaling $35,000 Ernie Aleman, 31, South Gate, California Ct. 1: Solicit a child for sex Ct. 2: Traveling to meet a minor for sex Ct. 3: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device Ct. 4: Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery Bonds Totaling $50,000 Matthew Browne, 28, Gainesville Ct. 1: Traveling to meet a minor for sex Ct. 2: Solicit a child for sex Ct. 3: Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery Ct. 4: Unlawful use of a two-way communication device Bonds Totaling $35,000 Jhony Chacon-Montiel, 34, Jacksonville Ct. 1: Travel to meet a minor for sex Ct. 2: Unlawful use of a two way communications deice Ct. 3: Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery Ct. 4: Use a computer to solicit a child for sex No Bond Joshua Blankenship, 28, Green Cove Springs Ct. 1: Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery Ct. 2: Unlawful use of a two way communications deice Ct.3: Travel to meet a minor for sex Ct. 4: Use a computer to solicit a child for sex Ct. 5: Possession of a Controlled substance w/o prescription Ct. 6: Possession of Methamphetamine No Bond