LONG ISLAND


East End start-up gets $5.8M

InnRoad, a Southampton-based start-up that makes software for hotels, has received $5.8 million in funding from two venture capital firms. The company will use the financing from Blue Heron Capital of Richmond, Va., and Rose Park Advisors of Boston to continue developing and marketing its programs. The software is used by more than 350 independent hotels in the United States and Europe to manage bookings, reservations and payments. The funds mark the second round of financing InnRoad has received from the firms. Patrick Campbell from Blue Heron and Matt Christensen of Rose Park have agreed to join the company's board of directors. InnRoad, launched in 2008 by Murat Ozsu, employs about 22 people, including 12 on Long Island, and has offices in Southampton and India. -- Joe Ryan


NEW YORK


Bank indicted on fraud charge

A community bank and 19 ex-employees have been criminally charged with issuing hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent mortgages that ended up in unwitting investors' portfolios, prosecutors said Thursday in announcing a rare indictment against a bank in the mortgage meltdown that rocked the U.S. economy. Chinatown-based Abacus Federal Savings Bank was hit with mortgage fraud, grand larceny and other charges in what Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. called "a systematic scheme to falsify and fabricate mortgage applications" so that unqualified borrowers could get loans. Abacus said it had investigated and reported the problems and would vigorously defend itself. The bank is stable, and depositors' money isn't at risk, prosecutors said.


NATION


Windows 8 has final test run

Microsoft is nearly done with a much-anticipated overhaul of its Windows operating system. The software maker signaled the makeover is nearly complete with Thursday's release of the final test version of Windows 8. The new version includes several improvements from a less-refined version released three months ago. The upgrades include more ways to connect to other Microsoft services, more security controls and more touch-screen features. Microsoft hasn't announced when Windows 8 will go on sale; industry analysts expect it to hit the market this fall. To peek: preview.windows.com.


OJ's 'natural' claim challenged

Orange juice maker Tropicana markets its brand as fresh from the grove, but a series of lawsuits nationwide claim the company's juice is so heavily processed it shouldn't be called "natural." In approximately 20 lawsuits, the first one filed in New Jersey, lawyers claim the company adds chemically engineered "flavor packs" to its juice, making it taste the same year-round. On Thursday, lawyers argued before a panel of judges in Washington about where the lawsuits should be heard as a group. Tropicana declined to comment but said in a statement it is committed to full compliance with labeling laws and to producing "great-tasting 100 percent orange juice."


Mortgage rates hit new lows

Average U.S. rates on 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages dropped to record lows again this week, with the 15-year loan dipping below 3 percent for the first time ever. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 3.75 percent. That's down from 3.78 percent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s. The 15-year mortgage, a popular refinancing option, slipped to 2.97 percent. That's down from 3.04 percent last week. Rates on the 30-year loan have been below 4 percent since early December. The low rates are a key reason the housing industry is showing modest signs of a recovery this year.-- AP

Biden to address nation . . . Big Lots closes . . . St. Rocco's Feast  Credit: Newsday

Plane crash investigation . . . Farmingdale bus crash suit . . . Secret Service boss resigns . . . St. Rocco's Feast 

Biden to address nation . . . Big Lots closes . . . St. Rocco's Feast  Credit: Newsday

Plane crash investigation . . . Farmingdale bus crash suit . . . Secret Service boss resigns . . . St. Rocco's Feast 

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