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VALLEY STREAM/Cops: 2 charged with use of fraudulent gift cards

Two Brooklyn men who used fraudulent gift cards to purchase more than $80,000 worth of merchandise from several Target stores over a five-month span have been arrested on larceny and fraud charges, Nassau County police said Monday.

Crimes Against Property Squad detectives said Raymond Castillo, 28, of Cornelius Street, and Lancelot Davis, 25 of 48th Street, bought numerous gift cards from area Target stores using stolen or fraudulent credit cards. Then, beginning in November, the two used the gift cards to purchase electronics and other merchandise, causing Target losses of more than $80,000.

A department manager for the Target on Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream recognized the two men buying high-end electronics and notified store security and police, according to reports.

The two were arrested Friday. Each was charged with grand larceny, a felony. Castillo also was charged with five counts of possession of a forged instrument, identity theft and defraud. Davis was charged with possession of a forged instrument and defraud.

They were arraigned Saturday at First District Court in Hempstead and are due to return to court Friday.


AMITYVILLE/6 workers overwhelmed by bleach solution fumes

Fumes from a concentrated industrial bleach solution sent six employees at the South Oaks Hospital facility in Amityville to the emergency room Monday, officials said.

All the victims were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip with non-life-threatening injuries, Amityville police said. All were being considered inhalation victims.

A spokeswoman for South Oaks, Mary Jeanne Corea, said the six, all employees, were in a basement area when they were overcome by fumes. She said patients were not affected.

Police said the initial 911 call was received at 7:02 a.m. The call reported a bleach odor coming from the hospital, which, according to its Web site, offers "comprehensive mental health services."

Corea said the Amityville Fire Department subsequently conducted an inspection of the premises and gave the hospital an "all-clear" at 8:45 a.m.


STATE/Feds sue to recoup $7M for Superfund cleanup

The federal government has sued to recover $7 million in mercury cleanup costs from eight companies that used a New York refinery between 1970 and 1991.

The companies were part of an earlier $2.4-million settlement. But the government says more mercury was found after the settlement was reached.

The site of the contamination, in Rye Brook, is now a residential neighborhood. It was next to Port Refinery Inc., which extracted mercury from scrap metal. The Environmental Protection Agency has been cleaning up mercury in the area since 1991.

The lawsuit says the companies are liable under the Superfund law and under the terms of the earlier settlement.

A lawyer for one of the companies said he had not yet seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

- AP

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