Size of money laundering problem in B.C. not clear; estimates in the billions

In July 2018, an international agency that sets anti-money laundering standards quietly released an explanatory report on professional money laundering. In the 53-page report, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force made a stunning claim: A “massive” underground bank in B.C. had laundered more than $1 billion a year. The underground bank offered its services, says the report, to organized crime groups around the world, including Mexican cartels, Asian gangs and Middle Eastern crime groups. The case — one of several real-life accounts in the report — said the B.C. money-laundering network’s illegal activities involved drug money, illegal gambling and money derived from extortion to supply cash to Chinese gamblers. The… Read More

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Amazon’s stormy week will blow over, but the debris may stay

SAN FRANCISCO — It’s been a complicated few weeks for Amazon, what with its abrupt pullout from a massive New York City development, extortion claims related to intimate photos taken by its founder Jeff Bezos and increasing antitrust scrutiny in Europe . For now, these events seem unlikely to pose much threat to Amazon’s brand or business. But they’re indicative of the mounting challenges the e-commerce giant faces as it grows ever larger and more dominant. Amazon’s turn in the spotlight is a natural consequence of its prominence in retail, entertainment and internet infrastructure, Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said. “As you get bigger and more successful, you have more… Read More

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Midwest couple made a sweet deal in Springdale

SPRINGDALE — A little over five years ago, Dave and Kim Watts, as people tend to do when they’re in the middle of their careers, started thinking about their retirement “someday.” And since both of them are mechanical engineers, they thought about it like engineers. What would it look like? What would they do? Where would they do it? How would they make it work? The first step, they decided, was that every year for their vacation they would visit an area of the country they thought might be a great place to retire. They gave themselves 10 years to scope out the country. Their first trip was to Oregon,… Read More

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Midwest couple made a sweet deal in Springdale

SPRINGDALE — A little over five years ago, Dave and Kim Watts, as people tend to do when they’re in the middle of their careers, started thinking about their retirement “someday.” And since both of them are mechanical engineers, they thought about it like engineers. What would it look like? What would they do? Where would they do it? How would they make it work? The first step, they decided, was that every year for their vacation they would visit an area of the country they thought might be a great place to retire. They gave themselves 10 years to scope out the country. Their first trip was to Oregon,… Read More

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Retailers, fashion brands struggle with racial insensitivity

NEW YORK — Retailers and top fashion brands like Gucci and Prada keep apologizing for products that smack of racial insensitivity. The big question is: Why does it keep happening? Experts say many of these fashion companies live in a sort of bubble and lack the diversity in their staff that could vet their fashions. They also blame the increasing pressures facing the industry to push products from the design board to the stores and online in weeks rather than months without taking time to thoroughly review products. “There is such pressure on speed that there is no time for consideration,” said Allen Adamson, co-founder of Metaforce, a marketing firm.… Read More

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Utah company provides employees a way to show compassion to co-workers

MIDVALE — A Utah company is building a culture of kindness and giving through an initiative aimed at helping its employees help each other during their times of greatest need. And CHG Healthcare Services’ Employee Compassion Fund is one of the reasons the Midvale-based company has landed on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, ranking it among the top employers across the country. Established in 2014, the fund was created to help employees who are suffering a financial burden. The compassion fund provides tax-free grants to help CHG employees facing financial difficulties immediately after an unforeseen personal hardship or natural disaster. Laura Seitz, Deseret News Katie Monger… Read More

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B.C. Budget 2019: What we got last year, and what we want this year

The B.C. government’s new budget will probably look a lot like its old budget. That is deliberate, says Finance Minister Carole James, because the governing New Democratic Party’s priorities haven’t changed: affordable housing, child care and climate change. “What we’re looking at is budget 2019 basically building on what we did in budget 2018,” James said of the budget she’ll deliver on Tuesday. “We started off with a shift in approach from the previous government, where they really told people you either had to have a strong economy or investments in people. It was either-or. Our budget really said we need both.” There’s another reason for the similarities between this… Read More

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Gone in a New York minute: How the Amazon deal fell apart

NEW YORK — In early November, word began to leak that Amazon was serious about choosing New York to build a giant new campus. The city was eager to lure the company and its thousands of high-paying tech jobs, offering billions in tax incentives and lighting the Empire State Building in Amazon orange. Even Governor Andrew Cuomo got in on the action: “I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that’s what it takes,” he joked at the time. Then Amazon made it official: It chose the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens to build a $2.5 billion campus that could house 25,000 workers, in addition to new offices planned… Read More

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Payless ShoeSource to shutter all of its remaining U.S. stores

NEW YORK — Payless ShoeSource is shuttering all of its 2,100 remaining stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, joining a list of iconic names like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton that have closed down in the last year. The Topeka, Kansas-based chain said Friday it will hold liquidation sales starting Sunday and wind down its e-commerce operations. All of the stores will remain open until at least the end of March and the majority will remain open until May. The debt-burdened chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2017, closing hundreds of stores as part of its reorganization. At the time, it had over 4,400 stores in… Read More

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Small business brings opportunity to communities, entrepreneur says

SALT LAKE CITY — Starting a business from scratch is a daunting task for most anyone, especially someone with no prior business experience. But for Sarah Calhoun, founder and owner of Montana-based Red Ants Pants, the desire for better fitting, functional work pants was the spark she needed to make the leap into the world of small business and entrepreneurship. Speaking to an audience of fellow business owners Friday as the keynote address at the Salt Lake Chamber’s Small Business Summit, Calhoun explained how she came into entrepreneurship sort of accidentally, having grown tired of wearing men’s work pants that didn’t fit her female frame. Raised on a farm in… Read More

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