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Pay Up: Billions Sought in Bill Mixup

December 29, 2005

TOURS, France (AP) _ More than 100 people in France got a particularly large, nasty bill in the mail. Their pension fund was asking them each to pay more than $2 billion in dues.

``I had to sit down when I saw the sum,″ recipient Christine Vallee, a bar manager in the Loire Valley town of Tours, said Monday of her statement _ received last weekend and asking for payment by Jan. 12.

Alain Lavie, a regional director for pension fund Organic, said a computer glitch was behind the mistaken mailings to 113 people, adding that their accounts would not be affected.

The sticker shock prompted Vallee to call a lawyer.

``I wasn’t laughing when I read the last paragraph: ’We take this opportunity to offer you our best wishes for the new year,‴ she said of her statement seeking $2.5 billion.

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