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US cites stories Oleg Deripaska helped Vladimir Putin launder money

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The US Treasury has justified sanctions towards Oleg Deripaska by citing stories that the Russian tycoon helped President Vladimir Putin launder cash.

In a letter sent to Mr Deripaska’s lawyers and seen by the Monetary Instances, the Workplace of International Asset Management, the company overseeing US sanctions coverage, writes that Mr Deripaska was in 2016 “reportedly recognized as one of many people holding property and laundering funds on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin”.

The Russian businessman additionally reportedly cancelled the itemizing of an organization to cover Mr Putin’s cash laundering, Ofac stated. 

The sanctions, which hit Mr Deripaska and 23 different distinguished Russian oligarchs and authorities officers in April 2018, have been the most crippling measures imposed by Washington in response to Moscow’s 2014 invasion of Crimea and alleged meddling within the 2016 US election.

Mr Deripaska has sued Ofac in Washington, forcing the company to elaborate on the explanations for its choice. The company nonetheless stated within the letter, despatched final month, that the checklist solely included “unclassified” and “releasable” justifications.

In response to the allegations that Mr Deripaska had laundered cash for Mr Putin and made investments on his orders, Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin’s spokesman advised the FT: “That’s not true. So simple as that.”

Mr Deripaska as soon as reportedly cancelled an preliminary public providing of automaker Gaz “to cover Russian president Vladimir Putin’s cash laundering via the corporate, as lately as September 2017,” the letter reads. Gaz can be underneath US sanctions.

“In or earlier than July 2011, Deripaska’s enterprise exercise was reportedly used, on not less than one event, as a canopy to facilitate the switch of funds for the private use of then Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin,” Ofac additionally says.

“They don’t present any info. Simply guesses, rumours and balderdash,” Mr Deripaska advised the FT in an interview. “These are unsupported allegations. That is nonsense, as a substitute of the presumption of innocence till introduced with info that must be confirmed in a courtroom.” 

All of the justifications included the phrase “reportedly” or “reported” and no additional particulars or sources for the arguments have been supplied. 

Nor does the abstract embrace data supporting an announcement made by Ofac in April 2018 that there have been allegations that Mr Deripaska “ordered the homicide of a businessman, and had hyperlinks to a Russian organized crime group”.

The US Treasury declined to touch upon each the letter and Mr Deripaska’s response. 

Mr Deripaska constructed an aluminium, power and industrial empire from beforehand state-owned property privatised after the collapse of the Soviet Union that made him Russia’s richest man earlier than the 2008 monetary disaster.

He was beforehand married to the step-granddaughter of former president Boris Yeltsin, a relationship that noticed him known as a member of “The Household”, an off-the-cuff group of individuals seen as near Mr Yeltsin on the time he stepped down as president to be succeeded by Mr Putin.

The Ofac letter additionally alleges that Mr Deripaska made an $800m funding into “initiatives related to” the 2014 Winter Olympics within the Russian metropolis of Sochi, after Mr Putin “reportedly compelled Russian oligarchs” to take action. 

Mr Deripaska admitted that firms he managed invested in Sochi’s airport earlier than the Video games and funded development initiatives associated to the occasion, however insisted that they’d not responded to Mr Putin’s orders.

One other justification alleges that Mr Deripaska in late 2004 “reportedly acted on verbal directions from president Vladimir Putin in a high-level bilateral assembly between Russian and Kyryz representatives”.

Mr Deripaska stated that the element refers to an funding his former aluminium firm Rusal thought of in Kyrgyzstan in late 2003, which by no means materialised.

“Some fortunate US diplomat hears some rumours . . . they usually put this down [in a diplomatic cable],” he stated. “If somebody introduced one thing like this to a courtroom in London . . . the decide would simply inform them: ‘Please get misplaced’,” Mr Deripaska stated.

Mr Deripaska’s attorneys and Ofac officers will now trade a collection of counter-arguments earlier than the decide could rule on the case, a course of that Mr Deripaska stated may take about 18 months.

Extra reporting by James Politi in Washington

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A Step By Step Guide On Getting Your Company Ready For GST Implementation

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GST came into effect on 1st July 2017. Nearly all indirect taxes got subsumed because of its implementation (minus a few state taxes). It is a multi-staged tax and gets collected at points of consumption.

Economists also refer to it as destination-based tax. GST council is accountable for regulating the tax rates, and it oversees various rules and regulations of GST.

The government introduced GST to substitute a slew of indirect taxes with a primary charge. Everyone expects it to reshape the current Indian economy and take it to higher levels.

Some people have also reprimanded the way this government implemented it. However, GST has shown positive outcomes in practically every aspect. It has served businesses and authorities alike.

You can read all about gst and gst latest amendments here.

It is compulsory for all entities or personnel involved in buying or selling goods or rendering services to be GST registered. All such businesses whose annual turnover is higher than INR 40 lakhs are eligible and have to register for GST compulsorily. For service providers, this limit is INR 20 lakhs.

Certain business entities need to file themselves under GST no matter what their annual turnover is. Here is a list:

  • Input Service Provider (ISP)
  • Casual Taxable Person (CTP)
  • Non-resident Taxable Person
  • Inter-state supplier of goods
  • Any service provider
  • Goods supplier through an e-commerce portal
  • E-commerce portal
  • TDS/TCS deductor
  • Online data access or retrieval service provider

All the business firms that compulsorily need to register themselves under GST may face a penalty if they don’t do so. The government may impose a fine of up to 10% of the taxable amount up to a maximum amount of INR 10,000.

You need to realize that you don’t have to spend on GST from your pocket. The government collects this tax from consumers as an output tax. There is a provision for an input tax credit in GST.

If you have paid GST for buying raw materials or any other services for manufacturing your commodities, you can file for a tax return. The administration will credit it back to you.

When listing your business under GST, you need these documents:

  • Your PAN Card (Personal Account Number Card)
  • Your Identity proof (for example Aadhaar Card, Voter ID Card)
  • Proof of business registration or certificate of incorporation
  • Bank account statement or a cancelled cheque
  • Digital signature
  • Authorization letter/ board resolution for authorized signatory

Things You Should Know Before Registering Your Company Under GST

GSTN (GST Network)

The government has made sure that there is no obstacle or delay to the taxpayers by shifting the whole registration process online. You can register your business under GST without having to run hither and tither to government offices.

To facilitate this, the government put together a network dedicated to everything related to GST. This network was called the GST Network (GSTN).

This portal is used by the government to track every single transaction ever recorded. This portal also facilitates the registration of firms and businesses under GST.

This portal handles everything from registration to filing taxes, from tax returns to maintaining all tax details.

Major Secret of GST Identification Number (GSTIN) and Applicability

GSTIN (GST Identification Number)

When you register for GST, a state-wide PAN-based unique number is provided to you. This unique number is called GSTIN. This number helps you to track your transactions, tax filings, and returns on the GSTN portal.

Many people get confused between GSTN and GSTIN. Both are not the same. GSTN is the network where you get all services related to GST. GSTIN is the unique number you get for registering under GST.

The format of GSTIN is vital to know. GSTIN is a 15 digit number. The first two numbers determine the state where this business belongs. The next ten digits tell the PAN Card number, and the last three figures show us the number of registrations in that state and the check code.

GSTIN can be obtained free of cost by the GSTN portal or from GST Seva Kendra set up by the government. Your application needs to be approved by the GST Officer before you can get a GSTIN.

GST Invoice

If you are a GST registered vendor or a service provider, you have to give your customers GST compliant invoices for the sale of goods or services.

Similarly, the vendors that you purchase from will provide you with a GST invoice. If you are a GST registered vendor or a service provider, you can file for a tax return.

A GST compliant invoice must contain the invoice number and date, the customer’s name, shipping and billing addresses, and customer’s GSTIN (if applicable).

It should also consist of HSN Code/SAC Code, item details, taxable values, and discounts, with rate and amount of taxes (CGST/SGST/IGST).

Remember, if the customer is not registered and the amount is higher than INR 50,000, there are different provisions. In that case, the invoice should compulsorily include the name and address of the recipient, the delivery address, and the state name and code.

There are tons of GST software in the market nowadays. These software help you in managing your GST while also validating the purchases and sales.

These software are capable of uploading the data to GSTN automatically. They can even file tax returns for you. Having such an automated computer client is always easier.

An Overview: GST Returns - PayU Blog

GSTR (GST Returns)

GSTR is a monthly return that is the summary of all outward payments of a vendor or a service provider. The GSTR-1 form has a total of 13 sections that you need to fill.

Every business needs to file for GSTR based on their yearly turnover. Firms that have a turnover of up to INR 1.5 crores will file quarterly returns. Whereas firms with turnover higher than that will file monthly returns.

Once filed, GSTR can not be revised. Any mistake made in the GSTR, you may rectify it in the next period. The government will impose a late fee of INR 200 per day for defaulters.

Conclusion

GST implementation is not a lengthy process, thanks to the quick and secure portal of GSTN. Now every person can register for GST and enjoy the benefits of the government’s policies.

The government also provides a GST composition scheme. Under this scheme, small taxpayers who have a yearly turnover of less than INR 1 crore can choose to pay GST at a fixed rate of turnover.

In simpler words, GST has simplified taxation for the government and has simplified tax returns for the public. Getting your business registered under GST is a smart move. 

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Pence: Trump Will Continue to Send Batshit Anti-Social Distancing Tweets, Deal With It

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“He actually called me late that night,” Trump Jr. said during a Q&A on Facebook. “He was still in the Oval Office and was like, ‘So what’s with this?’ So, we had a couple of seconds before him sort of checking in and getting back to work, you know, he was fascinated. I think Melania may have shown him one of the memes that I had posted. It was like Donald Trump’s face with a Tiger King mullet, which was pretty epic.”

Area man brags about country only having second most coronavirus deaths in the world

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Ontario court to rule on sale of Kew-owned distributor TCB

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FTI Consulting – the receivership company appointed to oversee the sale of Kew Media Group’s assets – will appear virtually before Ontario Supreme Court of Justice next week to ask the court to approve the sale of TCB Media Rights to Beyond International.

But, as with many facets of the situation surrounding the now-collapsed media company, the details are complicated.

Last week, news broke that Australian producer Beyond International had struck a deal to purchase U.K.-based distributor TCB Media Rights. However, documents filed by FTI with Ontario Supreme Court suggest TCB CEO and founder Paul Heaney (pictured) is opposed to the deal, which, if approved by the court, would see Beyond acquire TCB for an aggregate consideration of £2.1 million (around C$3.63 million).

The £2.1 million acquisition is structured in two parts, with Beyond set to purchase all the shares of TCB for £1.52 million (around C$2.63 million), as well as repay debt from TCB to Kew Media Group of £578,000 (around C$1 million).

TCB, a distribution outfit specializing in factual entertainment and formats, was founded in 2012 by Heaney, the former managing director of London-based Cineflix Rights. It was acquired by Kew in October 2017 for $9.23 million. The deal included an earn-out of up to £4 million if TCB met revenue targets.

According to the court documents, Heaney did not consent to the sale of TCB to Beyond because it breaches his consent rights under the initial sale agreement between Kew and TCB. In addition, a party including Heaney and TCB executive director Dina Subhani, submitted a counter offer to purchase TCB from Kew.

“Mr. Heaney, a participant in an unsuccessful bid, has objected to the selection of the successful bidder based on a contractual consent right previously granted by KMG at the time that it first acquired the TCB Shares,” read the court documents filed by FTI.

The offer made by Heaney’s party was 5% less than that of Beyond, according to the documents, which also assert that the sale process was conducted openly and fairly and that Heaney was afforded “every opportunity to participate in the process.”

While Heaney’s party made an initial expression of interest on March 11 (before the March 31 deadline it set to finalize a transaction), FTI says it moved ahead with the Beyond offer for two main reasons. First, that there was a “significant risk” Beyond could withdraw its offer if the deadline was extended past March 31. Second, that Heaney’s party did not confirm whether or not it would be ready to execute a deal by the March 31 deadline. “As a result, in the business judgment of the Receiver, the Beyond offer provided a better recovery for stakeholders, was more certain and represented the highest and best bid available,” said FTI.

Approval of the sale is conditional upon there being no third parties enjoining or prohibiting the purchase and sale of TCB’s shares by April 30.

The documents also contain a number of emails sent between the relevant parties, including one sent by Heaney to FTI’s senior managing director Nigel Meakin, dated April 1, in which Heaney questioned Beyond’s financial security and plans for TCB moving forward.

“I have a number of concerns about the sale of TCB to Beyond Entertainment, which I am disappointed appears to have proceeded without my express consent,” read Heaney’s email, in which he referenced a recent corporate release concerning the company’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic. That release, issued to the ASX, stated that the company had closed some of its offices and directed staff to work from home, and also implemented salary reductions across the board, ranging from 5% to 20%.

Heaney’s email cited that as pointing to potential “material financial hardship” being faced by the company in light of current conditions, and also expressed concern about a “continued lack of clarity” about Beyond’s post-acquisition plans for TCB, including proposed employment terms and the availability of future acquisition funding.

“Given this uncertainty I am afraid I am simply unable at this time to give my consent to the sale pursuant to section 6.8(b) of the share purchase agreement,” said Heaney. The email concluded with Heaney saying he disagrees with FTI’s interpretation of the consent rights, which he believes to be “both valid and enforceable,” and that his lawyers are “taking urgent advice in Canada.”

Realscreen has reached out to Beyond for comment and will update the story accordingly if and when it is received. One of the court document appendices features an email from Beyond International CEO and MD Mikael Borglund, dated April 6, in which he refers to Heaney’s opposition to the approval of the sale as “concerning” and “contrary to our current discussions.”

For its part, FTI says it would be “contrary to the fundamental purpose of the receivership…to allow Mr. Heaney, a former owner of TCB and an unsuccessful bidder in the marketing process, to veto the sale of the TCB shares to Beyond in an effort to force a sale, at a lower value, to Party 2, Mr. Heaney’s partner, Ms. Subhani, and Mr. Heaney himself.”

FTI argues Heaney does not have standing to challenge the proposed sale “insofar as he is a ‘bitter bidder’” and his argument is “not effective” against the receiver.

The court hearing, which will be heard orally, had originally been scheduled to take place tomorrow (April 9), but has been adjourned to April 14.

Documents reveal scale of Kew’s debt; details of asset sales

The documents filed by FTI also revealed sale details for other companies formerly owned by Kew, as FTI looks to recoup what it can of the US$113 million owed to the syndicate of lenders led by Truist Bank. The syndicate also consists of Bank of Montreal and Toronto-Dominion Bank.

FTI says that, after recouping certain costs through the sale of Kew’s assets, the syndicate will suffer a shortfall in excess of $90 million.

Architect Films, BGM, Big Timber Media (also known as Essential Australia and Essential USA), Frantic Films, Media Headquarters Film and Television and Sienna Films were sold for a combined total of $3.46 million, according to FTI. Based on financial filings from 2017 and 2018, Kew paid around $6.2 million for Architect Films, $8.9 million for BGM, $31.9 million for Essential, $7.1 million for Frantic, $3.5 million for Media Headquarters and around $3 million for Sienna.

FTI also said it is in the process of selling a 50.1% interest in Jigsaw Productions, the New York-headquartered prodco founded by Alex Gibney.

Kew, which burst onto the scene three years ago with the acquisition of five Canadian prodcos and Content Media Corporation, was placed into receivership on Feb. 28, with all its directors, including founders Peter Sussman and Steven Silver, resigning.

The company’s financial issues had come to light around three months prior, when publicly traded Kew reported that its Q3 financial results had seen its overall revenue dip by 5.3% to $47.5 million. Shortly thereafter, Kew initiated a strategic review to examine options such as selling all or parts of the business, with TD Securities running the sale process in consultation with the bank syndicate and its advisors, including FTI Consulting. At the time, Kew also said that certain reports provided by former CFO Geoff Webb to the company and its senior lenders “contained inaccurate information regarding working capital.”

Kew subsequently withdrew a number of its previously issued financial reports, as well as its financial guidance for fiscal 2019, which it said would contain earnings that were “materially lower than previously forecast.” During the sale process, 99 potentially interested parties were contacted regarding potential acquisition opportunities, of which 39 executed NDAs.

On Feb. 28, in accordance with an order from the Ontario Superior Court, FTI Consulting Canada was appointed as the receiver of all Kew’s assets, undertakings and properties. Earlier that day, Truist Bank had demanded repayment of all amounts owing under its senior credit facility, and given Kew a notice of its intention to enforce security under section 244 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

The company was initially formed in 2016. At the time, it was Canada’s sixth special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which is an entity that raises investment through an IPO, typically with the intention of acquiring an existing, privately held company or companies.

(From Playback Daily)

Image: Shutterstock

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