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Unemployment checks end for some next month

Nearly 1.2 million unemployed Americans will receive their final unemployment checks in December unless Congress acts to extend benefits, according to the Economic Policy Institute. With weekly new filings hitting a seven-year high, the Washington, D.C., researchers said yesterday that there's now nearly three unemployed workers for each job opening.

Cuban denies he agreed to keep mum on stock sale

Mark Cuban, former Mt. Lebanon resident and one of the richest people in the world, said yesterday on his blog that he never agreed to keep confidential the information he received about an impending stock sale of Internet search engine company Inc. in June 2004. The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Mr. Cuban with insider trading, saying he used the information to avoid losses of more than $750,000.

Vilar, W&J trustee, found guilty of fraud

Alberto Vilar, the Washington and Jefferson College graduate who once was acclaimed for his patronage of cultural institutions and opera houses, yesterday was convicted on fraud charges for swindling investors out of millions of dollars. Mr. Vilar, a 1962 graduate of the college and member of the board of trustees, had pledged $18.1 million to Washington and Jefferson, and in 1999 the college honored him with the naming of The Vilar Technology Center. However, Mr. Vilar's name has not been put on the building. A jury in New York found Mr. Vilar, a founder of Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc., guilty of conspiracy to commit securities fraud; investment adviser, mail and wire fraud; and 11 other counts.

Knopp Neurosciences gets boost from investors

Knopp Neurosciences Inc., a South Side-based company specializing in the development of drugs to treat neurological disorders, said it raised its capitalization to $27 million after its investors exercised $6.6 million in warrants. Knopp said part of the proceeds from the offering would be used to complete a study of KNS-760704, a drug for the treatment of amyotrphic lateral sclerosis and the company's lead product.

Michigan contractor to pay back wages to 40

Consolidated Building Systems, a Michigan subcontractor that worked on the Bedford Hill Apartments in the Hill District and the Laurel Estates in Uniontown, has agreed to pay $95,300 in back wages to 40 carpenters who worked on those projects. The U.S. Department of Labor said an investigation revealed that the company paid carpenters straight time for hours worked beyond the 40-hour week and that the company's timesheets were not accurate.

Also in business ...

Russia's Anti-Monopoly Service said the local unit of Alcoa would be fined as much as 2 percent of revenue after "abusing its dominant position in the market." A spokesman for Alcoa Russia said the unit cooperated in the investigation.


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