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Friday business briefs

Home Goods safety issues

A Commack home furnishings store was hit with a proposed $233,500 fine this week for having an unsafe workplace after federal inspectors found that its fire exits were blocked, a federal agency said Thursday. The store, Home Goods, has 15 days to respond to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection of its Crooked Hill Road store. A spokeswoman at the store's parent corporation, TJX Companies Inc., of Framingham, Mass., did not respond to a request for comment. A worker's complaint tipped off OSHA, which found 16 violations of workplace safety standards including merchandise and equipment blocking exits and fire extinguishers, and a lack of fire emergency training.Guilty plea in fraud charge

A Lynbrook businessman pleaded guilty Friday to a fraud charge after throwing away lawsuit documents instead of delivering them to debtors, state prosecutors said. American Legal Process owner William Singler entered a plea in Nassau Supreme Court to one felony count of scheming to defraud. Singler admitted that he knew the process servers who worked for him failed to properly serve the court papers on defendants named in the lawsuits. He did not respond Friday to a request for a comment. Due to his fraudulent conduct, many debtors defaulted and had to pay judgments without the chance to respond or defend themselves in court, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said.

New lawyer for Cosmo

A federal judge Friday appointed a new lawyer - at government expense - to represent Nicholas Cosmo, the alleged mastermind of a $413-million Ponzi scheme operated from his Hauppauge office. Richard Levitt of Manhattan was appointed by U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley in Central Islip to represent Cosmo, the former head of Agape World Inc., after his current lawyer, Stacey Richman, said she had not been paid. She said that Cosmo apparently had no assets left to pay her.

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