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"CNBC" featured Elisabeth Haub School of Law's Distinguished Criminal Justice Fellow Mimi Rocah in "GOP defenses for Trump’s Ukraine call quickly collapse under scrutiny"

10/01/2019

"CNBC" featured Elisabeth Haub School of Law's Distinguished Criminal Justice Fellow Mimi Rocah in "GOP defenses for Trump’s Ukraine call quickly collapse under scrutiny"

...But former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah, calling Trump’s purpose “100%” clear, notes that even mobsters don’t make extortion demands explicit. Writing in The Washington Post, Flake said the partial transcript “removed all ambiguity about the president’s intent.”

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"CNBC" featured Pace Haub Law School Professor Mimi Rocah in "Federal prosecutors give National Enquirer publisher immunity over hush-money payment to purported Trump lover"

12/13/2018

"CNBC" featured Pace Haub Law School Professor Mimi Rocah in "Federal prosecutors give National Enquirer publisher immunity over hush-money payment to purported Trump lover"

...Former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah told MSNBC that AMI's admission cripples Trump's ability to claim that the payment to McDougal was not about the election, and thus not subject to federal campaign finance law rules.

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"CNBC" featured Law Professor Paul Rafelson in "Why Amazon is the winner of the Supreme Court sales tax ruling"

06/22/2018

"CNBC" featured Law Professor Paul Rafelson in "Why Amazon is the winner of the Supreme Court sales tax ruling"

Paul Rafelson, a law professor at Pace University, says the Supreme Court decision doesn't really address this issue, "punting" most of the questions related to marketplace sellers.

In the marketplace, Amazon facilitates the sales of third-party merchant products, so it's unclear whether Amazon or the third-party seller should be responsible for collecting tax.

"Amazon can hide behind its marketplace to claim tax exemption because it's still going to pretend it's not a retailer — and not responsible for collecting sales taxes," Rafelson said. "There's still a lot of legal questions that need to be answered."

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CNBC: "Amazon gives in to Massachusetts tax officials and agrees to turn over third-party seller data"

01/24/2018

Amazon gives in to Massachusetts tax officials and agrees to turn over third-party seller data (CNBC)

...Dog and pony show

The move is an about-face for Amazon. After the company refused to cooperate in September, the state of Massachusetts filed a court order forcing Amazon to turn over the data by mid-October. It wasn't clear if Amazon would relent or fight the court until now. (Amazon declined to comment, and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue didn't return a request for comment.)

Peterson noted that when someone uses language like "valid and binding legal demand" and agrees to comply, it typically means its lawyers have believe they're likely to lose in court.

But Paul Rafelson, a law professor at Pace University and a former tax counsel at GE, had a more nuanced view of the incident.

He says, given how common these requests are, it was strange to see Amazon react so aggressively against turning over the data. Instead, he thinks Amazon's resistance was likely a "pretend fight" put on to mitigate its liability against any seller that might decide to sue them over failing to help them be more tax compliant. Because Amazon currently takes a hands-off approach to third party sales tax collection, the company would be able to use this as one evidence of "sticking up for the sellers," he said.

And the situation only gets trickier as Boston is in the running for a bid to win Amazon's second headquarters. Cities are offering all kinds of tax incentives to get Amazon's HQ2, which would create 50,000 new jobs and attract over $5 billion in investments.

"This is a bit of a dog and pony show," Rafelson said. "This is such a basic request that there's no reason why Amazon wouldn't turn it over. It's just making kind of a big public show."

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