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In brief: Spokane’s Rainmaker to open Silicon Valley office in fall

Wed., July 30, 2014

Spokane marketing and design firm Rainmaker Creative is opening an office in Silicon Valley.

Company co-owner Billie Gaura said the firm’s Cupertino, California, office will open in September, starting with two employees.

It will be an extension of the main office in Spokane, at 107 S. Cedar Ave. Started eight years ago, Rainmaker has 11 employees.

The California office will provide a location for Silicon Valley clients to meet directly with Rainmaker’s team, Gaura said.

Alexis Roizen, Rainmaker’s creative director, will lead the new office. For the first several months, Gaura plans to split her work time between Spokane and Cupertino.

Former vending official sentenced in Pepsi fraud case

NEWARK, N.J. – A former official of a New Jersey-based vending company has been sentenced to prison time for his role in a scheme that defrauded the Pepsi Bottling Group of $2.9 million over a 10-year period.

Cedar Grove resident Joseph Belasco was ordered Tuesday to serve six months in prison and six months of home confinement. He also will pay $1 million in restitution and must serve two years of supervised release once he’s freed from prison.

The 65-year-old Belasco pleaded guilty last November to a complaint charging him with providing a false 2008 Internal Revenue Service 1099 tax form to the wife of a PepsiCo executive for consulting services she never provided.

McDonald’s could be named in labor lawsuits, board says

NEW YORK – McDonald’s is coming under intensifying pressure for labor practices at its U.S. restaurants.

The National Labor Relations Board said Tuesday that the world’s biggest hamburger chain could be named as a joint employer in several complaints regarding worker rights at franchise-owned restaurants. The decision is pivotal because it could expose McDonald’s Corp. to liability for management practices in those locations.

Labor organizers say McDonald’s should be held accountable because it has so much control in setting the terms for how its restaurants are run.

“There’s really no doubt who’s in charge,” said Micah Wissinger, an attorney who brought a case on behalf of McDonald’s workers in New York City.

The National Labor Relations Board said 181 cases involving McDonald’s have been filed since 2012. For the 43 cases that were found to have merit, the board said McDonald’s or its franchisees will be named as respondents if the parties fail to reach a settlement.

Samsung phone shipments falter in 2Q, analysts say

NEW YORK – Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, saw its sales drop in the second quarter, a research firm said Tuesday.

The research firm said Samsung’s smartphone sales fell 4 percent compared to a year ago, even though the quarter saw the launch of Samsung’s latest top-flight model, the Galaxy S5. Its share of the global smartphone market fell 7 percentage points to 25 percent.

China’s Huawei, the world’s third-largest phone maker, saw its smartphone sales doubled in the quarter to 20.3 million units. Huawei has been selling low-end smartphones in the U.S. for some time, and wants to break into the high-end market.

Apple Inc. reported a 12 percent increase in iPhone sales for the quarter. IDC said its market share slipped from 13 percent to 12 percent.


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