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David Phelps

Reporter | Professional services
phone: 612-673-7269
David Phelps covers the business of law, advertising and financial services. He previously led coverage of the Tom Petters fraud investigation and continues to cover its afternmath. Phelps is a former member of the Star Tribune Washington Bureau who has also covered state and local government and politics.
Recent content from David Phelps

U.S. government wants $335,000 turned over to receiver in Tom Petters case

Faegre Baker Daniels did not disclose some assets given by co-conspirator Frank Vennes Jr.
Obituary: Jerry Soderberg, 86, was a quiet force in politics

Obituary: Jerry Soderberg, 86, was a quiet force in politics

Harold “Jerry” Soderberg’s fascination with presidential politics made him an eyewitness to history.From Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s to Paul Simon in the 1980s, with…
Obituary: Intellectual property law giant John Gould dies at 88

Obituary: Intellectual property law giant John Gould dies at 88

One of the founders of Merchant & Gould helped clients such as 3M, Medtronic, Red Wing Shoe and Radisson.
Sun Country talks with pilots turn tense, with talk of downsizing

Sun Country talks with pilots turn tense, with talk of downsizing

In a statement, the head of Sun Country’s Air Line Pilots Association said airline Chairman Marty Davis is warning of a “downsizing” of the carrier if a labor agreement is not reached.
Petters prosecutor Joe Dixon moves to Fredrikson law firm

Petters prosecutor Joe Dixon moves to Fredrikson law firm

The former assistant U.S. attorney is joining the law firm of Fredrikson & Byron.
Luminara obtains injunction against flameless candle rival

Luminara obtains injunction against flameless candle rival

Market potential for Disney-inspired product said to be significant.
Reunited Dubbs & O'Meara ad agency navigates the digital age

Reunited Dubbs & O'Meara ad agency navigates the digital age

The two strong-willed partners run a media-buying company that counts the Minnesota Twins, Summit Brewing and the Minnesota Zoo as clients.

Alltech to buy Mankato's Ridley Inc. for $428 million

Alltech, a large animal health company, is acquiring Ridley for $428 million in all-cash deal.
Strong dollar drags down 3M profits

Strong dollar drags down 3M profits

But measured by where the business happened, 3M’s sales grew around the world.
Minnesota, federal authorities step up efforts on investment fraud

Minnesota, federal authorities step up efforts on investment fraud

After a surge in investment adviser fraud cases, a joint task force has been formed.
Feb. 15: Investment fraud on the rise in Minnesota

Feb. 15: Investment fraud on the rise in Minnesota

The number of advisers in the state who are facing criminal action has tripled from the previous two years, and authorities are taking action.
Pentair reports lower than expected quarterly earnings as oil and energy markets struggle

Pentair reports lower than expected quarterly earnings as oil and energy markets struggle

Pump maker said it’s seeing a “global spending pause.”

Owatonna Chart Industries plant closing, eliminating 65 jobs

The Owatonna operation of Chart Industries will close June 1, affecting 65 workers. The Ohio-based company informed Owatonna city officials and the Minnesota Department of…
St. Louis Park native Dan Khabie digital ad agency with global reach

St. Louis Park native Dan Khabie digital ad agency with global reach

He is CEO of Mirum, one of the largest and newest international ad agencies in the digital marketplace.
Minnesota and Safelite glass company in a battle over auto-glass repair practices

Minnesota and Safelite glass company in a battle over auto-glass repair practices

A battle is brewing between the Minnesota Commerce Department and one of the state’s largest auto-glass repair firms over alleged unfair sales practices.Safelite Group, based…
Obituary: Lifelong pilot Don Hanson loved to soar, help

Obituary: Lifelong pilot Don Hanson loved to soar, help

To say that Don Hanson loved flying would be an understatement. Hanson didn’t just fly the plane, he was part of it. From piloting bombers…
MN vs. China legal tussle turns nasty over flameless candle technology

MN vs. China legal tussle turns nasty over flameless candle technology

Eden Prairie firm fighting Chinese manufacturer for potentially lucrative market share.
Large companies: Employee engagement comes through loud and clear

Large companies: Employee engagement comes through loud and clear

One employee said: “Encouragement is constant, gratitude is shown often.” Said another: “Recognition is given when good work is prevalent, and coaching is given when standards are not met.”
FRWD ad agency takes brand directly to consumers

FRWD ad agency takes brand directly to consumers

A small Minneapolis ad agency takes brands directly to consumers.
AllOver Media purchased by private equity firm

AllOver Media purchased by private equity firm

The Plymouth-based ad company was sold to a private equity firm that will help finance its plans for expansion.
Judge says it's time to set timetable to settle Petters bankruptcy claims

Judge says it's time to set timetable to settle Petters bankruptcy claims

Bankruptcy Judge Gregory Kishel denied the claim at hand but told the trustee and attorneys that it was a matter of time before creditors would get antsy.
Ruling could affect $1 billion in Petters clawback lawsuits

Ruling could affect $1 billion in Petters clawback lawsuits

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that state law doesn’t include a key provision that makes it easier to recover false profits from a Ponzi scheme.
Attorney Drawz's career defined by cases like New Brighton water fight

Attorney Drawz's career defined by cases like New Brighton water fight

For 34 years, attorney John Drawz has led New Brighton’s battle for clean water
Carlson CEO Trudy Rautio retires; new management team named

Carlson CEO Trudy Rautio retires; new management team named

Trudy Rautio has been an executive with the company for 18 years and is only the second nonfamily member to run it. Now, the hotel and travel groups will have separate CEOs.

June 23: Carlson board sharpens its focus

Firm will spend TGI Friday’s cash to buy 100 percent control of Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

Aug. 8: IBM wins $14.2M suit against Carlson

Judge ruled Carlson’s financial picture, not IBM’s performance, led to termination of IT contract.
Jan. 17: Carlson puts hotel growth in newcomer's hands

Jan. 17: Carlson puts hotel growth in newcomer's hands

David Berg’s charge includes freshening some of the company’s hotel concepts while expanding others.
After strong 4Q, Best Buy signals new cost-cutting phase

After strong 4Q, Best Buy signals new cost-cutting phase

Quarterly earnings beat expectations, but Joly warns that growth will slow

Carlson Rezidor reports 4 percent revenue growth

Hotel chain reports 57 openings, higher revenue.
Sun Country pilots approve strike authorization

Sun Country pilots approve strike authorization

No work action is imminent; talks set to resume in March.
Fallon gets back in Super Bowl game with ad for Loctite

Fallon gets back in Super Bowl game with ad for Loctite

The Minneapolis agency created an ad that will run early in the fourth quarter.

Fallon gets comeback honors from Ad Age

Ad Age named Fallon its “comeback agency of the year” on Monday for its recovery from the near-disastrous loss of two major clients, Cadillac and Purina, in 2013.
Big Tobacco fighter Mike Ciresi to start boutique law firm

Big Tobacco fighter Mike Ciresi to start boutique law firm

Mike Ciresi, one of Minnesota’s best known trial lawyers, is leaving Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi after 43 years to form his own boutique law firm with two partners from his old firm.
Minneapolis law firm Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand is now just Maslon

Minneapolis law firm Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand is now just Maslon

The name change underlines the importance of branding in the modern marketplace.
Petters' middleman claims he was offered a shorter sentence

Petters' middleman claims he was offered a shorter sentence

Two years after his sentencing, middleman Frank Vennes said he was promised a better deal.
Pohlads enter electronics business with $70 million deal for Polaroid

Pohlads enter electronics business with $70 million deal for Polaroid

The deal puts the family in control of an iconic brand now focused on electronics.
Warehouse firm finds going green is good for business

Warehouse firm finds going green is good for business

Logistics firm CEO finds prairie grass and solar panels are not only the right thing to do, they make good business sense.
Obituary: Ron Rochat entertained with trumpet, taught youngsters how to play

Obituary: Ron Rochat entertained with trumpet, taught youngsters how to play

Ron Rochat was a standout three-sport athlete at Osseo Senior High School in the late 1930s, but it was his ability to coax music from…
No. 14: Under-the-radar St. Peter family among richest Americans

No. 14: Under-the-radar St. Peter family among richest Americans

From Cambria quartz countertops to Davis Family Dairies to Sun Country Airlines, the Davis family owns and manages some of the state’s landmark homegrown businesses. They employ 2,600 workers and take in about $710 million a year in revenue.
Gabriel deGrood Bendt ad agency acquired by St. Paul firm

Gabriel deGrood Bendt ad agency acquired by St. Paul firm

GdB will stay in Minneapolis under new ownership

Minnesota settles with two life insurers over unpaid policies

The state has settled with two more life insurance companies over unpaid policies.
Delta to offer five classes of seating beginning March 1

Delta to offer five classes of seating beginning March 1

Delta Comfort will offer extra leg room, priority seating and complimentary alcohol.
3M challenges company over use of the name Stick-it

3M challenges company over use of the name Stick-it

Its resemblance to 3M’s “Post-it” violates trademark, the Minnesota company says.
Kruskopf & Co. distills brands to their essence

Kruskopf & Co. distills brands to their essence

Independent ad shop Kruskopf & Co. seeks “one simple truth” about products that range from hearing aids to a line of steaks.
For Fallon, omission leads to inspiration

For Fallon, omission leads to inspiration

Arby’s was supposed to include Pepsi in a certain number of ads, and a creative solution was found.
Delta gets ready to restart nonstop flights to Hawaii in 2015

Delta gets ready to restart nonstop flights to Hawaii in 2015

Delta dropped nonstop seasonal flights to Honolulu in 2011 but is preparing to resume them.
General Mills, Target and Twin Cities agencies aim for diversity in their message

General Mills, Target and Twin Cities agencies aim for diversity in their message

A little girl named Gracie helps lead marketers down the path of more inclusiveness.
Ad agency Campbell Mithun is now just Mithun

Ad agency Campbell Mithun is now just Mithun

Campbell Mithun, one of the Twin Cities’ oldest ad agencies, is recasting its image
Wealth care for a healthy bottom line

Wealth care for a healthy bottom line

The Johnston Group aims to provide more personalized financial advice than large firms are able to offer clients.
Imation investor demands ouster of CEO, sale of certain assets

Imation investor demands ouster of CEO, sale of certain assets

New Orleans-based Spear Point demanded wholesale changes, divestiture in letter to board.

FCC resolves $16M lawsuit over fax violation

Twin Cities legal publisher was cleared of a rules violation.
Trustee seeks 'false profits' from Petters investors

Trustee seeks 'false profits' from Petters investors

Doug Kelley filed a motion for investors’ Ponzi scheme gains: $119 million, including interest.
Football season the wind beneath Buffalo Wild Wings' strong third-quarter earnings

Football season the wind beneath Buffalo Wild Wings' strong third-quarter earnings

The World Cup and football season pushed earnings at Buffalo Wild Wings beyond analysts’ expectations.
Ad agency Olson to be acquired by technology consultant ICF

Ad agency Olson to be acquired by technology consultant ICF

The $295 million deal could gain the Minneapolis ad agency more international clients.
Food giant General Mills' campaign against hunger

Food giant General Mills' campaign against hunger

General Mills’ marketing chief plays a leading role in the nationwide Outnumber Hunger campaign that benefits local food shelves.
Two hedge funds reach $322 million settlement in Petters case

Two hedge funds reach $322 million settlement in Petters case

The hedge funds’ settlement would be the largest to date — if any money is available.
Obituary: An eye for design, an itch to learn

Obituary: An eye for design, an itch to learn

A trained architect, the Minneapolis resident never lost his eye for design, his prowess in the classroom or his itch for learning.
Pohlad estate-tax trial begins today in Houston

Pohlad estate-tax trial begins today in Houston

A high-stakes standoff between the IRS and the estate of the late Carl Pohlad, the real estate billionaire who owned the Minnesota Twins, is set to begin Monday in a Houston courtroom.
Wingnut shows an agency doesn't have to be big to thrive

Wingnut shows an agency doesn't have to be big to thrive

After nearly a decade in business, Wingnut’s success is a reflection of the way smaller shops still do very well in the advertising business.
Judge sentences former chief executive to 25 years in Bixby fraud

Judge sentences former chief executive to 25 years in Bixby fraud

The founder of a Ramsey-based alternative energy firm committed “a magnificent fraud” against investors, judge said.
Florida hedge funds seek $24 billion in Petters-related case

Florida hedge funds seek $24 billion in Petters-related case

A Florida trustee in the Petters bankruptcy alleges that M&I Bank was complicit in the Ponzi scheme.
Skippy Yippee is out to challenge Jif with new ad campaign

Skippy Yippee is out to challenge Jif with new ad campaign

Hormel, the new owner of Skippy peanut butter, hopes to schmooze its existing consumer base and wrest market share from its main rival — the spread whose campaign tagline for years has been, “Choosy mothers choose Jif.”
Ad landscape may change, but the rules remain the same

Ad landscape may change, but the rules remain the same

Steve Bergerson built a first-of-its-kind practice in advertising and trademark law and survived the industry’s seismic shifts since the late 1980s.
Prosecutors want 30-year prison sentence for Bixby ex-CEO Robert Walker

Prosecutors want 30-year prison sentence for Bixby ex-CEO Robert Walker

Lawyers for Robert Walker, convicted of defrauding investors, argued for six years.

Plymouth lawyer pleads guilty to fraud in Libyan land deal

Timothy Oliver, the Plymouth lawyer who used the ruse of a land development project in Libya to embezzle $500,000 from a Mexican construction company, pleaded…

SEC accuses hedge fund manager of pumping stock, filing false invoices

Investors in Minneapolis’ Archer Advisors’ two hedge funds lost more than $1 million.

Olson 1to1 lands Hyatt loyalty marketing account

Olson 1to1 will work with Hyatt’s programs around the world.
GE Capital and Petters-related fund in legal battle

GE Capital and Petters-related fund in legal battle

The Ponzi scheme-related hedge fund is locked in a billion-dollar legal battle.
Mall of America courts North Dakota oil boom workers

Mall of America courts North Dakota oil boom workers

The Mall of America is reaching out to lure some well-paid Bakken oil hands, via a new YouTube video, a first in targeting a specific group of consumers.
$62.5 million settlement approved in Wells Fargo securities lending case

$62.5 million settlement approved in Wells Fargo securities lending case

$62.5M addresses those who lost money in securities lending.

Financial adviser who scammed retirees given 10-year prison sentence

Victims lost more than $4 million in Mark Holt’s Ponzi scheme; clients’ stolen funds used for personal expenses.
Brisket Channel proves to be ultimate reality TV

Brisket Channel proves to be ultimate reality TV

The Arby's campaign that filled Duluth TV screens over Memorial Day weekend lives on online and is setting the stage for new ads launched by Minneapolis ad firm Fallon.
General Mills' monster cereals pair with DC Comics

General Mills' monster cereals pair with DC Comics

General Mills turned to the superhero comics illustrators for this year’s box art.

CenturyLink plans 1-gigabit Internet service for Twin Cities

The legacy land-line service provider says the 1-gigabit service is available in selected parts of the metro area.
June 2011: Questions on political giving still dog Target

June 2011: Questions on political giving still dog Target

CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the company 'learned a lot last year' after its donation to MN Forward.
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