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Citadel Securities operating out of Palm Beach Four Seasons amid coronavirus

Around 24 personnel flown-in from out-of-state
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Posted at 4:08 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 20:41:17-04

PALM BEACH, Fla. — While Floridians are locked inside during a mandatory stay-at-home order, Contact 5 has learned a global financial institution set up a satellite operation in a five-star Palm Beach hotel on Monday.

Citadel Securities, the Chicago-based market maker, flew in about two-dozen personnel to the Four Seasons in Palm Beach, a spokesperson confirmed to Contact 5.

A Citadel spokesperson said they made reservations for the hotel before an emergency order went into effect limiting hotel reservations.

On March 26, Palm Beach County issued an emergency order halting all future hotel and lodging reservations for all visitors other than critical personnel, like first responders and the National Guard.

The employees arrived from both Illinois and New York. When asked if the New York employees were self-quarantining, a Citadel spokesperson said, "everything we're doing is in accordance with the governor's order."

Citadel also said all employees, and hotel employees, are staying on-site.

The governor's executive order mandates that anyone arriving from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut self-quarantine for 14 days or their duration in Florida, whichever is longer.

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DeSantis recently added Louisiana to the list for a mandatory self-quarantine as well.

Contact 5 started investigating Citadel’s plan to send personnel to the Four Seasons last week after receiving a tip about the arrangement.

A Citadel spokesperson sent Contact 5 this statement: "Consistent with our position as one of the largest market makers globally, we believe this business continuity decision is prudent to continue providing liquidity to our retail and institutional clients."

Citadel Securities says it trades over 20% of US daily equities, or about 1 in every 5 shares.

WPTV's Chopper 5 flew over the hotel Tuesday and Friday and spotted what appears to be a large generator parked on the side of the hotel.

Palm Beach Police had a cruiser stationed at the Four Seasons on March 24, and two SUVs at the hotel on March 28. There was another SUV parked out front on April 3.

A spokesperson for Palm Beach Police told Contact 5 the agency is only providing off-duty external security and has had no contact with the guests.

UPDATE: Late Friday evening, Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach sent WPTV this statement:
"At Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, the health and safety of our guests and employees continues to be our top priority. In accordance with the requirements of Palm Beach County, we are not taking new reservations through May 31, 2020. The Resort is open and offering reduced services to those guests who are currently on the property. Arrangements for current guests were made prior to any orders being announced. We have undertaken additional and extensive precautionary measures to ensure the health, safety and well-being of everyone at the Resort."