Washington consumers soon will be $10.6 million richer, thanks to a settlement from an international price-fixing cartel caught manipulating the wholesale price of vitamins more than a decade ago, HealthyNet reported today. "Vitamins Inc." was hit with $1.1 billion in criminal fines by the federal Department of Justice last year, and now has agreed to a separate $214 million settlement to claims filed by 23 states, including Washington. Washington's $10.6 million share was announced yesterday by state Attorney General Christine Gregoire. Gregoire said the money won't be returned directly to consumers, but will be awarded in a variety of ways including grants to scientists and farmers affected by the cartel. to get the best bang possible The list of claimants ranges across the spectrum of food producers, who are identified as "direct victims" of the price-fixing conspiracy. These producers include Kellogg, General Mills, Tysons, Purina and Coca-Cola.