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The Region

El Monte swimsuit manufacturer Sirena Inc. agreed to pay $178,000 to reimburse the state Employment Development Department plus $75,000 in civil penalties and $58,000 in legal costs to end a civil suit accusing the company of wrongly enabling 270 employees to obtain unemployment benefits. Deputy Dist. Atty. Clifford L. Klein claimed in the Los Angeles Superior Court suit that Sirena engaged in illegal business practices and unfair competition in 1980-82 by claiming non-working employees had worked a certain number of hours and that taxes had been withheld from their paychecks, in order to qualify them for $526,854 in unemployment benefits. The company, a subsidiary of Consolidated Foods Corp., admitted no wrongdoing in agreeing to the payments and injunctions precluding future false statements about employees.


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