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A BARGAIN TO DIE FOR

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The earthquake that shook California in January caused extensive damages and many deaths. It also shook loose a sizable number of apparent charlatans.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the state has approved $431,129 in funeral grants to help pay for funerals for 117 alleged victims of the quake - rather odd since the official death toll was only 61.How does this work? Well, some of the grant money went to dispose of a fellow who had hanged himself because he lost his job. "Stress-related" deaths also earned the beneficence of the social services department, which will pay up to $6,000 for each burial and $2,500 for each cremation.

Moral: California may be a risky place to live, but it pays to die there.