Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Upon reports that the Houston Rockets were working to trade Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers midday Friday, July 11, 2014, fans took to the Twittersphere to share likenesses of their reactions.Viewing on mobile? Go here: http://storify.com/InsideSoCalSpts/fan-reactions-to-los-angeles-lakers-moving-to-acqu
0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo can settle his Spanish tax woes out of court © AFP / Isabella BonottoMADRID, Spain, Jul 27 – Spanish tax authorities have given their ok for football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to pay close to Sh2.2 billion ($22 million) to settle a tax fraud claim, prosecutors said Friday.Prosecutors in Madrid said the deal with tax authorities and Ronaldo’s advisors also includes a two-year jail sentence which he won’t serve. Sentences of up to two years are generally not implemented in Spain for first-time offenders in non-violent crimes. The 33-year-old former Real Madrid striker, who has moved to Juventus, appeared in court last July near Madrid to answer four counts of tax evasion.Procecutors allege the five-time Ballon d’Or winner hid income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities.He is alleged to have used companies in low-tax foreign jurisdictions — notably the British Virgin Islands and Ireland — to avoid having to pay the tax otherwise due.In 2014, Spanish authorities say he was late in declaring that year just 11.5 millions euros of revenue earned in Spain for the period 2011-2014 when his earnings in his country of residence totalled 43 million euros.The Spanish taxman also found he did not declare 28.4 million euros in image rights agreed for 2015-2020, leaving 14.7 million owing.His legal team had blamed the affair on a simple different interpretation of which revenue he was obliged to declare in Spain.Had the case gone further, without the player offering a full settlement, he could have faced a fine of a reported 28 millions euros as well as a three-and-a-half-year jail term, according to the Spanish tax office union Gestha.Ronaldo’s big La Liga rival, Barcelona’s Argentinian star Lionel Messi, paid a two-million-euro fine in 2016 in his own tax wrangle and received a 21-month jail term.The prison sentence was later reduced to a further fine of 252,000 euros equivalent to 400 euros per day of the original term.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
VANCOUVER – Taxpayers are footing the bill to fly sheriffs around British Columbia as the province grapples with a chronic shortage of the courtroom staff and frustrated judges speak out about delayed and stayed cases.Attorney General David Eby said the government is working to train more sheriffs to provide courtroom security while dealing with the problem of police forces luring recruits with higher pay.“We have a very serious issue with a shortage of sheriffs in the province and we are currently flying some sheriffs from courthouse to courthouse to make sure we have enough sheriffs to keep courthouses open,” Eby said in a recent interview. “It’s obviously a significant public expense to do that.”Eby said part a $20 million NDP platform commitment has been earmarked to deal with the shortage, and he’s concerned the issue could erode public confidence in the justice system.Lack of sheriffs is a long-standing problem that surfaced under the previous Liberal government, Eby said, adding a low salary is one of the key retention issues.“Many of them are being hired to work as police officers instead of staying on to work as sheriffs because of very significant pay disparity between working as a sheriff in court and being a police officer,” he said.Chief provincial court judge Thomas J. Crabtree said court facilities can’t operate without appropriate security.“B.C. Sheriff Services members are located in each courthouse across the province to ensure the safety of court users while on court property and in courtrooms, including members of the public, witnesses, victims, the judiciary, legal counsel and parties,” Crabtree said in a statement.Dean Purdy, vice-president of Corrections and Sheriffs Services for the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union, said 14 deputy sheriffs have left in the last four weeks and 90 per cent of them have been recruited by police forces.“They’re trying to plug holes where they can,” he said of sheriffs who escort the accused from holding cells and provide security in courtrooms. “They’re triaging the courts. They know which judges will squawk about not having security in their courtrooms and speak out and which judges won’t.”The shortage of sheriffs has led to problems across the province and most recently on Vancouver Island, Purdy said. Two high-profile drug cases were among those thrown out in Victoria because a deputy sheriff wasn’t available.A trial delayed for hours last week in Victoria because there was no sheriff had a provincial court judge calling the situation “appalling.”“We’re pleased to see that judges are speaking out about this issue because the security and the safety of the public and the courts and court staff is paramount,” Purdy said.There’s a $36,000 gap between the top average salary of a sheriff and a police officer, and that has RCMP and municipal forces, along with transit police in the Vancouver area, “actively and aggressively recruiting both correctional officers and sheriffs,” Purdy said.“It costs approximately $30,000 to train a new recruit and it just doesn’t make sense from a fiscal standpoint, and I know you certainly wouldn’t run a business that way, to pay for new recruits to be trained, bring them in, only to have them leave, sometimes months later,” he said.“We’re not saying that both corrections and sheriffs need to be paid the same as police, because they’re not police, but they need to close that gap about half way just so they can retain good, highly trained sheriffs and correctional officers because they’ll continue to leave as long as that incentive of a significantly higher wage is right there in their sight.”Sheriffs are required to pay back $11,000 of the training cost if they leave in the first two years of their job, Purdy said.Union representatives are scheduled to meet with Eby on Oct. 17, the second meeting with the new attorney general since last month, he said.Bentley Doyle, spokesman for the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C., said limited court time is wasted when trials don’t go ahead because a sheriff isn’t available.“In that sense, sheriffs and judges are equally important, as both are required in order to make the system run,” he said in an email statement.“There are too many cases in need of trial time. Courtrooms cannot be dark during the workweek. Justice delayed far too often ends up being tantamount to justice denied.”— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.