Kenosha County Republican Party chair Erin Decker weighs in on Trump's visit as riots ravage the city.
Kenosha County Republican Party chair Erin Decker weighs in on Trump's visit as riots ravage the city.
Stocks traded higher Friday in another record-setting day on Wall Street, with a batch of stronger-than-expected economic data and corporate earnings results helping fuel a risk rally.
Friday marked the fourth time since March 18 the White House flag has been lowered following violence. "We must act," President Joe Biden says.
The Oversight Board, Facebook's 'Supreme Court,' is getting ready for the most consequential decision in its short existence.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo via GettyAfter private equity billionaire Robert Smith admitted to a 15-year tax fraud scheme to hide $225 million from the Internal Revenue Service, he signed a rare non-prosecution agreement with law enforcement, allowing him to avoid any charges and return to civilian life.But while Smith attends birthday parties and New York Times conferences, the man he hired to help execute the fraud faces federal charges and up to 14 years in prison.On Thursday, a grand jury in San Francisco indicted Smith’s long-time attorney, 82-year-old Carlos Kepke, on charges of conspiring with the CEO to defraud the IRS. If found guilty, the octogenarian could see as much as five years in prison for conspiracy and up to three years for each charge of filing a false return; Kepke is alleged to have filed three.In the indictment, prosecutors claim the attorney helped Smith create a network of offshore trusts and LLCs in Belize and the Caribbean island of Nevis to conceal about $225 million in income Smith had earned from capital gains from 1999 until 2014. In the first months of the new millennium, Kepke allegedly established an LLC on Nevis called Flash Holdings, and a Belizean trust called Excelsior. Neither entity, according to the indictment, had any purpose other than to hold Smith’s assets.This Billionaire Wants Everyone to Move on From His CrimesInvestigators believe Kepke established Excelsior under the name of Smith’s ex-wife’s elderly uncle, giving Smith a lesser role (but one with the power to appoint and remove the trustee). He then allegedly set it up such that the trust, rather than Smith, officially owned Flash Holdings. As a result, when the investor would deposit funds into Flash’s bank accounts, held in the tax-evasion hotspots of Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands, the money did not, nominally, belong to Smith––who in turn, did not report it on his taxes. “In reality,” the filing reads, “as Kepke knew, Smith actually earned this income, and retained full dominion and control over it.”Between 2007 and 2014, Smith allegedly paid Kepke nearly $1 million for the creation and management of the two entities, alongside a slew of other services, including filing three false tax returns on Smith’s behalf from 2012 to 2014. According to the indictment, since at least 2009, Kepke’s compensation included a fee to “purge” or as he put it, “securitize,” his files on Smith or his entities by destroying records.The charging document arrived on April 15—Tax Day—just two days after IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig told a Senate panel that tax evasion in the U.S. could easily exceed $1 trillion a year. A source close to Smith told The Daily Beast that the indictment marked the latest in the Department of Justice’s effort to pursue, not only those who fail to pay taxes, “but those who enable tax evasion by creating the ‘infrastructure’ of tax evasion.” That, the source said, “can include bankers, accountants, notaries, trust advisors, and even lawyers.”As part of Smith’s non-prosecution agreement, he agreed to testify against his former business partner, Robert Brockman, who was charged in October for an alleged 20-year scheme to conceal $2 billion in income from the Internal Revenue Service—the largest tax evasion charge in United States history.The 39-count indictment detailed a cartoonish conspiracy in which Brockman and associates communicated via code names like “Bonefish” and “Snapper,” used hidden income to buy a luxury yacht called “Turmoil,” and destroyed evidence with hammers. At one point, Brockman allegedly invited a wealth manager to adopt an alias and attend a “money laundering conference.”Brockman, who pleaded not guilty, has so far avoided trial. In court filings, attorneys representing the Reynolds and Reynolds CEO have claimed he suffers from a case of rapidly deteriorating dementia. The billionaire will be assessed at a mental competency hearing in June.Kepke also has alleged ties to Brockman. In Smith’s statement of facts, delivered to prosecutors for the landmark case, he indicated that Brockman, identified in the document as “Individual A,” had introduced him to an attorney, named only as “Individual B”—whom the indictment indicates was Kepke. Neither Kepke nor Smith agreed to comment for this article, but a source close to Smith confirmed the identity of Individual B to The Daily Beast.“The indictment is not a surprise as you know since in the Statement of Facts released last year as part of Robert's Non Prosecution Agreement (NPA), there were two individuals of interest to the DOJ—Bob Brockman (now known to be Individual A), and Carlos Kepke as Brockman's lawyer (now known to be Individual B)—and that Robert's cooperation represented DOJ's best avenue to prosecuting each of those individuals,” the source said.The DOJ could not have prosecuted Kepke on the basis of his role as Brockman’s lawyer, the source said, due to a statute of limitations—hence the indictment’s focus on Smith. Prosecutors may have hoped Kepke would cooperate, like Smith, in their case against Brockman. But to former federal prosecutor Paul Pelletier, who spent 27 years in the Department of Justice’s Tax Division, the indictment suggests that Kepke declined to follow Smith’s lead.“Between Smith's non-prosecution agreement [in October] and now, you know [Kepke's] been given ample time to cooperate, and he hasn't,” Pelletier said. “So they had to charge him."Typically, there are two ways to prosecute someone in the federal system. One way is to secure an indictment through a grand jury. The other way is by “information”—or through a charging document drafted with the consent of the defendant. If someone chooses to cooperate, they often plead guilty to an information, because it allows them greater influence on what they’re charged with. “If Kepke was cooperating,” Pelletier said, “I presume they would have charged him by information.”Former IRS investigator Martin Sheil, who has written for The Daily Beast, argued that prosecutors need to crack down on what he called the “wealth facilitators”—the lawyers, accountants, and financial consultants who enable tax evasion. “The entitled wealthy class seem to fully embrace Leona Helmsley’s famous aphorism that ‘only the little people pay taxes,’” Sheil told The Daily Beast. “And it is the lawyers and accountants that continue to engender this sense of entitlement by aiding and abetting the wealthy in their tax fraud pursuits.”But in the juxtaposition of Smith and Kepke’s cases, Pelletier saw a clear double standard. “It looks like the government is putting the heavy hand on an 82-year-old yet obviously didn’t put the same heavy hand on Smith,” he said. “If you want to indict Kepke, indict Kepke. But we know they didn’t charge Smith? The government has to treat equally situated people equally.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
President Joe Biden signed an emergency determination Friday that keeps refugees admissions to the U.S. at a Trump-era cap of 15,000.
The NEXT: 21 to watch in 2021: Fornite gaming sensation and content creator Lachlan Power talks to Yahoo Finance about how to build a successful career, cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFT's), and how he attracted millions of followers on social media.
The body-camera video was released Thursday in the police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo. What we know about the gun and the officer involved.
Local police chiefs spoke out against the bill, saying it would allow citizens to carry guns without proper training.
The Ohio county sheriff and his tiny police dog were inseparable, their lives unwaveringly intertwined. It thus seems fitting that retired Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland, 67, and his crime-fighting partner Midge, 16, would both die on Wednesday — McClelland, at a hospital after a lengthy battle with cancer and Midge, a few hours later at home, perhaps of a broken heart. McClelland retired at the end of 2016 after 13 years as sheriff in this semi-rural county east of Cleveland.
18-year-old man from Ohio with assault rifle and wearing gas mask taken into custody
Two passengers who were aboard a United Airlines flight that had to make an emergency landing after one of its engines blew apart and sent debris raining down on Colorado neighborhoods sued the company Friday. In separate lawsuits filed in Chicago, where United is based, Joseph McGinley of Honolulu and Jonathan Strawn of Sioux City, Iowa, say they have suffered personal, emotional and financial injuries following the failure of the Boeing 777's engine on Feb. 20. United declined to comment on the lawsuits, spokesperson Leslie Scott said.
SpaceX’s most international crew of astronauts yet arrived at their launch site Friday. It's a reminder of NASA's core mission of studying the home planet, the space agency's acting administrator Steve Jurczyk said as he welcomed the astronauts to Kennedy Space Center. The three men and one woman represent the U.S., France and Japan: NASA's Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Thomas Pesquet and Akihiko Hoshide, all experienced space fliers.
Indianapolis police were seeking a motive for the shooting that killed at least eight people at a FedEx facility.
Vartan Gregorian, the noted scholar and philanthropic leader who has led the Carnegie Corporation of New York since 1997, died Thursday after being hospitalized for stomach pain. “The Corporation has lost a devoted and tireless leader — an extraordinary champion of education, immigration, and international peace and security, and steward of Andrew Carnegie’s legacy,” the philanthropic group wrote in a statement on its website Friday. Born to Armenian parents in Tabriz, Iran, Gregorian arrived in America in 1956 to study history and the humanities at Stanford University, even though he had only a limited grasp of English.
Apple is set to kick off its big spring event at 1 p.m. ET on April 20.
He took over from Fidel Castro in 2008
Rain and thunderstorms will soak Florida, putting a damper on plans and even leading to some dangers like frequent lightning and flash flooding next week. And even though AccuWeather meteorologists say a large amount of rain may fall over a very short period of time, leading to localized problems, the pattern change will also bring some benefits. It has been an exceptionally soggy spring across many areas of the southeastern United States so far in 2021. In addition to many severe weather incidents from the Mississippi River to the Carolina coastline, drenching rain has hit much of the area. Cities such as Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama, have had more than double the normal amount of rainfall since March 15, and New Orleans has had four times the normal amount of rain in the same time period. Excessive rainfall amounts poured down, wth some areas enduring 6-10 inches of rain in the three days ending on Friday morning, April 16, 2021. (AccuWeather) Unrelenting rain that hammered the central Gulf Coast this week will finally begin to shift farther to the south and east on Saturday. Wet weather will return to portions of the Florida Panhandle, one part of the Sunshine State that has picked up a fair share of rainfall, on Saturday. Both Pensacola and Panama City, Florida, have picked up a total of around 6.5 inches of rain since April 8. This much rain is already one and a half times the normal rainfall for the entire month of April. Drenching thunderstorms will spread across northern Florida on Saturday and Saturday evening, allowing downpours to reach the east coast city of Jacksonville. Any thunderstorm could bring a quick half inch or an inch of rain in just a few hours. All the while, most of the Florida Peninsula is set to have a sunny and humid start to the weekend, but the dry weather is not expected to last. The wet weather will shift southward across Florida for the second half of the weekend, targeting locations from Jacksonville and Gainesville southward to Orlando and Tampa. Popular beaches like Daytona, Vero and Clearwater will also likely be wet on Sunday. CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP The repeated rounds of rain through Wednesday are likely to deliver several inches of rainfall across the area. An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 10 inches is possible by Wednesday afternoon. Anyone stepping outdoors in these areas will likely want to have the raincoats and umbrellas handy through the first half of the week. Downpours may be enough to lead to ponding on the roadways and bring reduced visibility for motorists. Flash flooding is also possible, especially in low-lying areas. "Too much rain may fall at once and lead to flooding problems," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said. "The excessive rainfall may set into motion the risk of sinkholes in a region that has had a history of trouble with the geological phenomenon." It is possible that a few thunderstorms accompanying the rain could also bring a couple of locally stronger wind gusts. Overall, however, the rainfall is likely to be beneficial across central and southern parts of Florida. These parts of the Sunshine State have mostly been missed by the wet weather that has pummeled much of the southeastern U.S. so hard this past month. As such, central and southern Florida has been left quite parched. Almost 50 percent of the state of Florida is facing "abnormally dry" conditions, which is a step below moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. A small corridor in the southern part of the state is in the grips of a moderate drought. This may come to a surprise to some after heavy thunderstorms drenched parts of the Florida Peninsula last weekend, producing dozens of damaging storm reports and even breaking some long-standing daily rainfall records, according to the National Weather Service office in Tampa. "The southern two-thirds of Florida is running unusually dry now, right at the time when we have the annual peak of the wildfire season in the state," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said. "Next week's rainfall should greatly reduce the fire risk for the remainder of the month across central Florida," he said, and that will be before the arrival of the state's wet season, which usually begins in May. Not every location that could use the rain will be so lucky. The bulk of much-needed rainfall will likely bypass extreme south Florida. "Unfortunately, much of southern Florida, including the Everglades, is also quite dry, with only 25 to 50 percent of normal rainfall since the start of the year," added Anderson. Naples, Florida, is one such location, which, as of the middle of April, has fallen well short of normal rainfall amounts. The city has reported only 2.89 inches of rain, a mere 38 percent of normal. Without the aid of several rounds of rain, the abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions are likely to continue, keeping the fire risk elevated in the far southern parts of Florida into early May. However, that could all change after hurricane season arrives on June 1. The AccuWeather teams of long-range and tropical meteorologists are concerned about another above-average year in terms of hurricanes for the Atlantic basin. The 2020 season was the most active on record, and 12 named storms made landfall in the U.S. "Signals for the 2021 hurricane season point toward most of the impacts in Florida, along the U.S. East Coast, and South Texas," AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said. "We will have to watch for the risk of excessive rain to shift farther to the east along the Gulf Coast during the balance of the spring to early summer, which goes along with concerns for tropicals systems in that region," Pastelok said. Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier, Spectrum, FuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios.
From an Arab woman fleeing political upheaval in Lebanon, to a British man escaping Brexit for Spain. How have international migrants started their new lives during the pandemic, asks Alice Hutton
White House to cap refugee admissions at historically low levels set by Trump
Amazon is hoping its new Lord of the Rings show will be a precious commodity in the streaming wars — but it won't come cheap. Amazon Studios' The Lord of the Rings TV series is set to have an insanely large budget of about $465 million just for its first season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. New Zealand Minister for Economic Development and Tourism Stuart Nash revealed that price tag to Morning Report, and the Reporter confirmed it. "This will be the largest television series ever made," Nash said. To put that in perspective, the Reporter notes that Game of Thrones cost about $100 million a season. The $465 million budget would also make the Lord of the Rings show's first season almost $90 million more expensive than the most expensive movie ever made, not adjusted for inflation. The series will be filming in New Zealand, and "Amazon's spending will trigger a tax rebate" of $114 million, the Reporter says. The monumental price tag was quite surprising especially considering it had previously been reported that Amazon was expected to spend $500 million on the show across multiple seasons, rather than close to that amount just on season one. This is one of a number of upcoming shows clearly hoping to be the next Game of Thrones, but we'll have to see whether it can truly become the one streaming series to rule them all. More stories from theweek.com5 colossally funny cartoons about Biden's infrastructure planHow a music teacher falsely accused of pedophilia sparked the Matt Gaetz investigationRomney, Cheney, and other Trump critics spend 'tens of thousands' on security after Capitol riot