Category Archives: Business Law

Information about legal issues affecting small businesses, including big business. The latest news, videos, and discussion topics on Legal Issues involving business and money.

Italian Mafia fugitive on run for 20 years caught after being spotted on Google Maps

Police have caught an Italian mafia henchman after spotting the fugitive on Google Maps.

According to the Telegraph, Gioacchino Gammino was convicted of murder and then escaped from prison 20 years ago before ending up in Spain.

He thought he’d escaped the clutches of detectives after nearly two decades on the run – but eagle-eyed cops were able to track him down.

Gammino, 60, was living the quiet life in Spain, where he had set up a fruit and vegetable shop under a false name, the Telegraph reports.

However, detectives were hot on the trail and managed to confirm his whereabouts using images on Google Maps.

A snap of the criminal available on the tool’s Street View feature shows him outside a grocery shop in the town of Galapagar north of Madrid.

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Pfizer Is the Next Big Pharma Company Entering the Cannabis Space

The giant will purchase a biotech company with cannabinoid-type therapeutics in the pipeline.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. is entering the cannabis space via the $6.7 billion acquisition of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The two publicly-traded companies confirmed Monday that they have signed a definitive agreement under which Pfizer will acquire all outstanding shares of Arena for $100 per share in an all-cash transaction.

Pfizer expects to finance the transaction with existing cash on hand upon obtaining all necessary approvals. 

The deal

Arena Pharmaceuticals, based in San Diego, Cal., is a biotech company with one segment of its drug pipeline dedicated to cannabinoid-type therapeutics. The core of its cannabis biotech operations is the research and development of its investigational drug candidate called Olorinab (APD371). This is an oral full agonist of the cannabinoid receptor 2 that is being researched for the treatment of various symptoms, mainly concentrated on visceral pain connected with gastrointestinal illnesses.

Other parts of Arena’s drug pipeline are concentrated on non-cannabinoid drugs with the main focus on developing innovative potential therapies for the treatment of several immuno-inflammatory diseases. Arena’s portfolio includes diverse and promising development-stage therapeutic candidates in gastroenterology, dermatology and cardiology.

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Chile to Dubai, a Thriving Route for Gold Traffickers

Chile has become a convenient exit point for illegal gold from the Amazon, with Dubai emerging as a consistent destination for such shipments.

Leaders from three groups that are part of a so-called “Gold Cartel” – the Farías, Herrera and González clans – were recently arrested for smuggling over 500 kilograms of gold from Chile to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Multiple properties, vehicles, a sailboat, an apartment, and over 500 million dollars worth of currency were also seized.

Of the 35 individuals arrested, only six have faced formalized charges of illicit association, smuggling, tax crimes and money laundering, while the other 29 were released.

The Chile to Dubai route has also been exploited by other traffickers. Most famously, Harold Elías Vilches Pizarro began a highly organized and large-scale gold trafficking operation in Chile in 2013 at just 20 years of age. Among his first contracts was arranging the sale of almost 3 tons of gold to a Dubai-based supplier over 12 months. The sale was potentially worth more than $100 million, and Vilches stood to make up to $6 million in profit. To facilitate exports, Vilches falsified documents to show his company could supply the quantities of gold demanded by the UAE company.

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5 ways celebrities in the Pandora Papers use the offshore system

Alongside politicians and billionaires, the Pandora Papers reveals how the rich and famous also make use of offshore havens, from Jackie Shroff to Shakira, Ringo Starr to Sachin Tendulkar.

Shakira did it. So did Ringo Starr, Claudia Schiffer, Julio Iglesias and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.

They have all set up companies “offshore,” in places like the British Virgin Islands (BVI), where tax rates are low or zero and where their businesses — and their identities — are hidden from the public.

And they’re among the celebrities, politicians and billionaires named in a trove of leaked files obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Those records are part of the Pandora Papers, an investigation of the offshore financial system that the rich and famous use to buy yachts and private jets, invest in real estate and protect their families’ wealth while avoiding scrutiny.

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Biden pushes to end ban on negotiating Medicare drug prices; Big Pharma pushes back

Undoing the ban is the linchpin of President Joe Biden’s healthcare agenda. It would mean lower costs, with savings put into things such as dental coverage for retirees.

As a participant in Medicare’s prescription drug program, Florida retiree Donna Weiner would like to pay less for her medicines, which cost her about $6,000 a year.

And as a retired accountant who spent 50 years handling the books for companies, she sees a way to get there.

“You know from working in a business that it makes no sense for an administrator of a plan or a company not to be involved in what they have to pay out,” said Weiner, who lives in Longwood, Florida, near Orlando.

For Medicare “to negotiate those prices down would be thousands of dollars back in my pocket every year,” she said.

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