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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Wholesale prices jump in March

UPDATED: Fri., April 9, 2021

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Wholesale prices jumped again in March pushed by another big increase in energy prices, the government reported Friday.

The Labor Department’s producer price index, which measures inflation before it reaches consumers, rose 1% in March, which follows last month’s 0.5% gain and a record jump of 1.3% in January.

Energy prices jumped 5.9%, the Labor Department said Friday. Women charged in massive fraud

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Federal prosecutors said Friday that they have charged three Southern California women with using prison inmates’ names to bilk a state agency out of a combined nearly $1.25 million in coronavirus-related unemployment benefits, the latest allegations in an ongoing scandal that has cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

The three are among a dozen charged just in the greater Los Angeles area and among 150 charged federally nationwide with exploiting federal benefits that were supposed to aid those who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Much of that fraud has been in California, where state auditors in January said the troubled Employment Development Department approved at least $810 million in the names of roughly 45,000 inmates, some of them on death row. Inmates are not eligible for the benefits.

From wire reports

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