In brief: Gas prices across state up 9 cents in one week
BELLEVUE – The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Washington is $3.88.
That’s up 9 cents in a week, and it’s 27 cents higher than the national average.
Some metro prices from the AAA survey for Monday:
Bellingham $3.99, Bremerton $3.87, Seattle-Bellevue-Everett $3.91, Tacoma $3.88, Olympia $3.90, Vancouver $3.84, Yakima $3.82, Tri-Cities $3.71, and Spokane $3.77.
BP sets up hotline to report oil spill fraud
NEW ORLEANS – BP has set up a hotline for people to report alleged fraud involving claims arising from the company’s massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Monday’s launch of the hotline comes a week after a federal appeals court heard BP’s argument that it has been forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement money to businesses with inflated or fictitious claims.
Earlier this month, a judge appointed former FBI Director Louis Freeh to investigate alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped administer BP’s multibillion-dollar settlement with Gulf Coast residents and businesses.
BP said calls to the hotline can be anonymous and could entitle a caller to a reward if a tip leads to an indictment, recovery of money or denial of a claim.
Returning Twinkies are slightly smaller
NEW YORK – Twinkies are back, but they may be a bit smaller than you remember.
The new boxes hitting shelves this week list the spongy yellow cakes as having 270 calories and a weight of 77 grams for two cakes, or 135 calories and 38.5 grams for one cake.
Right before it went out of business, the predecessor company had told the Associated Press that Twinkies were 150 calories per cake. Photos of past boxes online also indicate the weight to have been 42.5 grams per cake.
A spokeswoman for Hostess, Hannah Arnold, said in an email Monday that the size change was made in “mid-2012” by the predecessor company. That would mean it happened in the months leading up to its bankruptcy, as the company was trying to keep its head above water financially.
Ex-Goldman Sachs trader’s trial begins
NEW YORK – Jurors at a Manhattan trial of a former Goldman Sachs trader heard him described Monday both as an architect of a massive securities fraud and as a low-level scapegoat for the mortgage market meltdown that began in 2007.
Fabrice Tourre faces allegations from a 2010 lawsuit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against him and Goldman Sachs in what was called the most significant legal action related to the mortgage securities crisis that helped push the country into recession.
The SEC has accused Tourre of scheming to sell investors subprime mortgage securities that he knew were doomed to fail.