Accountant defends tax returns in solar tax ‘scheme’ trial

SALT LAKE CITY — A tax expert testified Friday he visited the Delta site of a purported solar energy facility, walked into a home and flipped the switch on and off, believing solar lenses were generating the power. “I did not think it was connected to the grid,” said Richard Jameson, a specialist in federal tax law who filed tax returns to the IRS on behalf of RaPower3 clients. That company, IAUS, Neldon Johnson and Gregory Shepard are the subject of a federal complaint lodged in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Justice that alleges the business enterprise is nothing more than an “abusive tax scheme” that has cost the… Read More

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Southwest offers apology, $5K, to passengers on damaged jet

PHILADELPHIA — Southwest is sending a letter of apology, a $5,000 check and a $1,000 travel voucher to passengers who were on a flight that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia following an engine explosion. Chairman Gary Kelly says in the letter that the money is to help cover any “immediate financial needs.” An engine on a Southwest jet exploded Tuesday, and debris hit the plane. Forty-three-year-old banking executive Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was fatally injured when she was sucked partway out of the jet through a shattered window. Passenger Marty Martinez of Dallas says he has no immediate plan to cash the check. He wants to talk… Read More

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Wells Fargo fined $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

NEW YORK — Wells Fargo will pay $1 billion to federal regulators to settle charges tied to misconduct at its mortgage and auto lending business, the latest punishment levied against the banking giant for widespread customer abuses. In a settlement announced Friday, Wells will pay $500 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, its main national bank regulator, as well as a net $500 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The fine is the largest ever imposed by the CFPB and its first since the Trump administration took control of the bureau in late November. Starting in September 2016, Wells has admitted to a number of… Read More

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Home sale prices in Alameda County, April 20

3274 Derby Court, Dublin; $1.88 million; 5 bedrooms, 5½ bathrooms in 5,183 square feet; built in 2003 on 0.44 acres; home is situated on private lot with views of Livermore Valley vineyards; features a slate-floored wrap-around porch and pro landscaping, gourmet kitchen and butler’s pantry, and four-car tandem garage. Click here to see transactions from previous weeks. View this document on Scribd …read more Source:: East Bay – Business       

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Pitts: What happened in Starbucks isn’t really about Starbucks

I don’t drink coffee, so I can’t boycott Starbucks. But I wouldn’t if I could. Yes, I understand — and share — the national anger over viral video of last week’s arrest of two African-American men at one of the company’s Philadelphia stores. The men, who have yet to be identified, were reportedly doing nothing more threatening than waiting quietly to be joined by a man they were meeting there, having asked to use the restroom and been refused. Their waiting apparently scared the bejeezus out of the manager, who called police. Cellphone video of the incident shows a white guy asking if the men are being arrested because “they… Read More

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Palo Alto planning director resigns

Palo Alto’s top planning official is resigning to take a job in the private sector, the city announced Thursday. Hillary Gitelman, who became Palo Alto’s planning and community environment director in late 2013, has accepted a new position with San Francisco-based Environmental Science Associates, according to a news release. Her last day with Palo Alto is May 11, and Assistant Director Jonathan Lait will step in as interim planning director. Hillary Gitelman, planning and community environment director for the city of Palo Alto, is resigning from her post. Her last day is May 11. (City of Palo Alto) Gitelman’s accomplishments include overseeing an update of the city’s comprehensive plan through… Read More

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Utah agriculture authorities hold hearings on how to implement new cannabis laws

SALT LAKE CITY — State authorities will soon be taking an uncharted path in their approaches to regulating CBD oil, growth of industrial hemp, and state-directed cultivation of full-strength marijuana, thanks to a busy legislative session addressing those issues. But the details on how that policy makeover will be implemented are still undefined, which is why the Department of Agriculture & Food met Thursday with business owners, farmers and patient advocates to hear their input before the agency’s rule-making process begins in earnest. Department leaders met for more than four hours total to hear from those groups, hosting three different meetings with several dozen attendees each. Hemp growing A law… Read More

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Utah biotech giant Gary Crocker adds U. research facility to list of accomplishments

SALT LAKE CITY — Thanks in large part to a multimillion dollar seed gift from a titan of Utah biotech, an 80-year-old building on the University of Utah campus that once housed relics from our prehistoric past is now a launch pad for the science innovations of the future. Gary and Ann Crocker committed $10 million some eight years ago to begin the process of revamping the circa-1935 George Thomas Building on Presidents Circle — the longtime home of the Utah Museum of Natural History — into a gleaming new collaborative science facility. On Friday morning, the official ribbon cutting will be held for the $55 million Gary and Ann… Read More

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Agriculture authorities hold hearings on how to implement new cannabis laws

SALT LAKE CITY — State authorities will soon be taking an uncharted path in their approaches to regulating CBD oil, growth of industrial hemp, and state-directed cultivation of full-strength marijuana, thanks to a busy legislative session addressing those issues. But the details on how that policy makeover will be implemented are still undefined, which is why the Department of Agriculture & Food met Thursday with business owners, farmers and patient advocates to hear their input before the agency’s rule-making process begins in earnest. Department leaders met for more than four hours total to hear from those groups, hosting three different meetings with several dozen attendees each. Hemp growing A law… Read More

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Opinion: Bot or not: The public deserves to know

The dawn of social media has created immense change in the lives of people all over the world – for better and, sometimes, for worse. Since the emergence of sites like Facebook and Twitter, Silicon Valley has experienced an explosion of progress and technological advancements, and in the meantime has expanded their influence in ways they could have never imagined, and likely never intended. In the fall of 2016, news outlets began reporting a growth in the number of automated accounts – or bots – posting messages related to the major U.S. presidential candidates. Sixteen months later, U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians and three companies, charging them… Read More

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