Are you an avid bitcoin user in Russia? If so, you could end up in jail.
The Russian Finance Ministry is preparing to introduce legislation next month that would fine and jail digital currency users, according to Bloomberg . The legislation, which was amended last month, has multiple tiers of penalties depending on the person’s usage, according to Interfax , a Russian news agency. For regular citizens who casually use bitcoin, the penalty is 500,000 rubles ($7,800 USD) or 4 years in jail; for organized groups, like bitcoin miners who confirm transactions on the network, it’s 1 million rubles ($15,500 USD) or 6 years in prison; executives or managers of financial institutions would face a fine of up to 2.5 million ruble ($38,000 USD) or up to 7 years in jail.
Russia wouldn’t be the first country to go after bitcoin users—Iceland, Ecuador, and Vietnam have each banned the currency in some way.
Digital currencies like bitcoin boast properties that spook central banks and regulators. Cryptocurrencies allow for anonymous transactions, which could be used for the trading of illicit goods and services. “Bitcoin can be used to finance the shadow economy and crimes, and this risk we cannot allow in Russia’s financial system, which we are striving to make transparent and healthy,” the Russian central bank’s press division told Bloomberg .
The Russian central bank did not respond to Quartz’s request for comment.
VAUDREUIL-DORION, QUEBEC–(Marketwired – April 28, 2016) – Immunotec Inc. (TSX VENTURE:IMM), a direct-to-consumer company and a leader in the nutritional industry (the “Company” or “Immunotec”), today reported the results of its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders held on April 27, 2016 (“AGM”).
During the AGM, all current directors of the Company were re-elected and Mr. Mario Paradis was newly elected to serve as a director of Immunotec. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP was reappointed as the Company’s auditor.
Mario Paradis is Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Neptune Technologies and Bioressources Inc. and of Acasti Pharma Inc. since 2015. Between 2008 and 2015, Mr. Paradis was Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer at Atrium Innovations Inc., which was acquired in 2014 by corporations backed by the Permira Funds in a transaction valued at over $1.1 billion. Prior to this, Mr. Paradis held roles of increasingly authority at Aeterna Zentaris, most notably as Vice- President Finance and Administration & Corporate Secretary. Mr. Paradis began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where he successfully held senior positions primarily in audit and tax. Mr. Paradis is a member of the Canadian Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business, with a specialty in Accounting, from Universite du Quebec at Trois-Rivieres.
“We are pleased to welcome Mario”, said Rod Budd, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “His experience in the natural health products industry combined with his background as a seasoned accounting and finance executive will be of great value to our Company.”
On April 27, 2016, the Board of Directors of Immunotec also approved the amendment of the Company’s Stock Option Plan (the “Plan”) to allow the automatic extension, for a period of ten (10) business days, to the expiry date of a stock option governed by the Plan if such expiry date falls within a period during which the Company prohibits optionees from exercising their stock options. Such amendment is subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.
LEASANTON, Calif., April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Shaklee®, a leading global health and wellness direct selling company, announces today that astronauts, aviators and American heroes Captain Mark Kelly and Captain Scott Kelly (also identical twin brothers) will be the Keynote Speakers at Shaklee Live 2016 – an annual Conference hosted by Shaklee CEO and Chairman,Roger Barnett and attended by thousands of Shaklee Distributors from all over the country. Shaklee Live will celebrate 60 years of creating healthier more rewarding lives August 3-7, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. For more information, visit Shaklee.com.
“I am happy to announce the attendance of Captain Mark Kelly and Captain Scott Kelly at this year’s Shaklee Live 2016 event inOrlando, Florida,” stated Roger Barnett, Shaklee CEO and Chairman. “These astronauts are friends in addition to aviators and American heroes who personify leadership and courage. It will be a great honor to welcome them as our Keynote Speakers at this year’s event.”
haklee and NASA have been working together for more than two decades since NASA tapped Shaklee as a partner to help every astronaut return to earth safely by providing a solution to address General Re-entry Syndrome (GRS) which includes symptoms of vertigo, fatigue, gastrointestinal discomfort, disequilibrium and general debilitation occurring during reentry to earth’s atmosphere and immediately after landing. Shaklee scientists specifically designed AstroAde, a special rehydration product in conjunction with NASA scientists, to combat this unique set of challenges facing the shuttle astronauts. Shaklee products have been on every NASA mission since 1993.
Most recently Commander Mark Kelly took Shaklee Vitalizer, a daily vitamin, on space shuttle Endeavour. Vitalizer provides everyday nutrition for life, with a comprehensive spectrum of clinically supported vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and more in one convenient Vita-Strip®. Vitalizer supports heart, bone, joint, immune, digestive, brain and vision health, and physical energy. With formulas customized for men, women and adults over 50, Vitalizer is available to consumers in the United States.
“Having just returned to Planet Earth after a year in Space, I can say first-hand it is one of the most arduous physical experiences the human body can endure,” explained Captain Scott Kelly. “NASA scientists and my medical team helped me come up with a daily regimen to ensure I maintained my health. I’m looking forward to sharing some stories and lessons with the Shaklee family inOrlando.”
Shaklee and the Kellys also share a commitment to environmental sustainability, recognizing that a healthy individual and a healthy planet go hand-in-hand. To learn more about Shaklee’s commitment to environmental sustainability visithttp://www.shaklee.com/us/en/about.html#sustainability
“One thing we’ve come to understand is that we need to take better care of our planet. We love that Shaklee as a company is really focused on the environment,” explained Captain Mark Kelly.
Following the February appointment of President and CEO Larry Mondry, Stream has brought on two additional executives to help diversify its energy-centric business.
Legitimate direct selling and pyramid schemes have often been confused. While there are clear distinctions between the two, pyramid scheme promoters do everything possible to disguise what they really do and to represent themselves as legitimate network marketing activities.
This week we will go over some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic:
1. What Is a Pyramid Scheme?
It is a fraudulent scheme where participants’ source of income depends solely or heavily on persuading other people to join.
2. How Can We Identify a Pyramid Scheme?
There are several characteristics common to all pyramids:
* Promises of high income with a little effort.
* Sales of products having little or no impact on earnings.
* Requirements of high fees and/or purchases to join.
* Pressure rather than convincing others to participate.
* Few people benefiting from the losses of many.
3. Are All Pyramids Alike?
All have common features as mentioned above. However, while some of these scams are easy to detect, some others disguise themselves to be able to avoid authorities’ attention.
Generally, what the second group does is to offer products that have little or no value at unreasonably high prices and claim that participants’ earnings are based on sales of those products.
4. What Is the Difference Between a Legitimate Network Marketing Business and a Pyramid Scheme?
Features that exist in legitimate network marketing businesses:
* Participation is either free or against a small amount of payment.
* Participants’ incomes rely on product sales.
* Goods or services that are sold have values and are demanded by end users.
* Inventory loading is not encouraged and a clearly defined buyback policy exists.
5. Are Pyramid Schemes Illegal?
Yes! That being said, not all countries have specific provisions against pyramid schemes in their legislations. Even in those countries though, pyramid organizations are prosecuted and shut down under various related laws and regulations.
In many cases, not only the “founders” but also the participants face criminal charges for promoting the scam.
6. What Is a Ponzi Scheme?
It is basically an investors’ pyramid scheme. In those organizations, investors’ incomes are based on newcomers’ investments, but not on proceeds from their own funds. These are named as such after Charles Ponzi’s infamous fraudulent scheme in the U.S.
7. Are Pyramid Schemes Sustainable?
No, all are bound to collapse. The “business” here does not rely on the exchange of goods or services, but on the acquisition of new people. So, any hiccup in the inflow of new participants results in a collapse. This occurs without any exceptions and those who initiate a pyramid scheme know this will happen from the very beginning.
8. Who Benefits From a Pyramid?
Only a few people! They are those who establish the scam and also few others who join at the start.
9. How to Avoid One?
Looking for the existence of such scams’ typical features as listed above would help a lot. If start-up costs are reasonable, unsold products can be returned, and earnings are based on the sale of products, most probably this is a legitimate business.
10. While a Few Earn Large Amounts, Many People Make Much Smaller Amounts at Network Marketing Organizations. Isn’t This a Sign of a Pyramid?
Not at all! This is a reality, but there are major differences. First of all, earnings are based on sales of products at network marketing companies. That means the source of incomes is not the losses of new recruits. There is no transfer of funds between the participants, in other words. Secondly, as network marketing is economically a sustainable model, it can last for decades offering all participants the same opportunity to earn as high.