05 24 2016
  4:27 pm  
     •     
read latest

breaking news

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
    Read More
  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
    Read More
  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all

I'm an accountant. My college degrees and CPA license are the intellectual properties that enable me to earn a living. Now suppose that I formed a corporation to deliver my services, then took my diplomas and license off my wall and placed them in a safe deposit box in a Luxembourg bank. When clients came to my Oregon office, I would explain that the value of my services was represented by the diplomas and license now held in the offshore bank, and they should send their payment to my corporation housed at a PO Box in Luxembourg. Using this little accounting trick, I would be able to avoid paying U.S. taxes, until I brought those "foreign" funds back to the United States.    

If I spun this ludicrous tale to my clients, I expect most of them would leave my practice immediately and find a different accountant.

But this accounting acrobatics is exactly the sort of transaction that hundreds of U.S. multinational corporations use to avoid paying billions of dollars annually in U.S. corporate income taxes. Technology, pharmaceutical and entertainment corporations, whose profits depend heavily on patents, trademarks and copyrights, have aggressively shifted profits from the United States, to one of dozens of tax havens that charge little or no taxes.

Bloomberg Business Week recently illustrated examples of this tax avoiding behavior: Forest Laboratories "sells nearly 100 percent of its drugs in the U.S. – and cuts its U.S. taxes dramatically by attributing the bulk of its profits to a law office in Bermuda. … Google reduced its income taxes by $3.1 billion over three years by shifting income to Ireland, then the Netherlands, and ultimately to Bermuda."

These tax avoiding strategies cost the U.S. Treasury more than $100 billion a year. And they have led to more than $1.2 trillion in liquid assets being stashed offshore by U.S. corporations.

A new coalition of corporate tax avoiders including Google, Apple Computer, Pfizer, Duke Energy and an array of industry trade groups are demanding that Congress pass a special tax break that would reward these tax avoiders who "repatriate," or bring back their offshore stash to the U.S., with a 5.25% tax rate, not the 35% corporate income tax that would otherwise be owed.

The coalition calls itself WIN America, but the numbers involved in the corporate tax holiday mean a real loss for America. The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation has calculated this tax windfall would cost $80 billion, money that would be made up with higher taxes on small business people like me, or through reduced government services and infrastructure upon which all businesses, communities and families depend.

Tax amnesty programs are nothing new. The IRS has a couple of times allowed individual taxpayers to declare hidden offshore assets and pay both the full tax due and penalties in exchange for avoiding prosecution and possible jail time. While much corporate tax-dodging through the use of tax havens is neither hidden, nor illegal under current law favoring U.S. multinationals, it wholly stems from corporations who engage in these transactions for the principle purpose of shifting profits between countries in order to avoid taxes. Creating an incentive for such anti-social behavior through preferential tax rates will only serve to accelerate the offshoring of U.S. profits through fictional transactions.

Indeed, this is exactly what happened in 2004, when Congress enacted the American Jobs Creation Act, a bill which promised that a 5.25% tax rate would bring home billions of dollars that supporters claimed would be reinvested to create American jobs. The promise never materialized; most of the funds went instead to boost shareholder dividends and stock buybacks. Many of the biggest beneficiaries of the tax break, including Pfizer, Honeywell, and Hewlett Packard, laid off thousands of workers just months after receiving their tax windfall.  That tax holiday, and the promise of another, has dramatically accelerated the amount of U.S. profits shifted offshore.

All of my education took place in the United States, as do all of my client meetings. The vast majority of Americans find it right and logical that I have a duty to pay taxes in the U.S. It is time that the same logic applies to multinational corporations, and that we stop accepting fairy tales about patents and trademarks held in some far-away bank vault.



Setzler is President and founder of TriLibrium, a public accounting and business advisory firm located in Portland, OR

Oregon Lottery
Calendar

PHOTO GALLERY

Artists Rep Grand Concourse