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WEST ISLIP / Landscaper indicted on fraud charges

A West Islip landscaper took money from dozens of customers but failed to provide lawn maintenance and pest control services, Suffolk prosecutors said Tuesday.

Carlos Correa, 47, the operator of Perfectly Green Lawns Inc. at 123 W. Fifth St. in West Islip, was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury on charges of scheme to defraud, first-degree falsifying business records, petty larceny and engaging in a business as a home improvement contractor without a license, the district attorney's office said.

Correa pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead. He was ordered held by County Court Judge Gary Weber on $7,500 bond or $3,750 cash bail.

The indictment alleges Correa has defrauded customers since August 2008. More than 40 consumer complaints are pending against Correa, prosecutors said.

Correa "engaged in a systematic, ongoing course of conduct whereby he solicited and accepted money for lawn maintenance and pesticide services and failed to provide any services to the consumers," District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a statement.

Correa's attorney, William Ferris of Islandia, said his client will fight the charges. "He's being very aggressive in his denial of this," Ferris said.

- CARL MACGOWAN


EAST MEADOW / Driver in fatal crash may have ran red light

A motorist involved in a fatal two-vehicle collision in East Meadow Monday afternoon may have caused the crash when she drove through a red light, Nassau police said Tuesday.

Some witnesses told police they saw Harriet Anderson, 91, of East Meadow, drive past the red traffic signal when the crashed occurred, said Det. Vincent Garcia, a Nassau police spokesman.

Police said Anderson was driving south on Clearmeadow Drive and made a left turn onto Hempstead Turnpike when she crashed her sedan, a 2001 Hyundai Elantra, into a sport utility vehicle traveling east on Hempstead Turnpike.

Ann Lee, 85, of Lynbrook, a passenger in the SUV, was taken to Nassau University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Tuesday, police said they do not believe Lee was wearing a seat belt.

Her husband, Gerard Lee, 86, the driver of the 2009 Dodge SUV, remained in stable condition at NUMC, Shelley Lotenberg, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday. Anderson, of East Meadow, remained in critical condition, Lotenberg said.

- CHAU LAM


CORAM / Prosecutors: Pizza shop owner let friend set fire

A pizza parlor owner stood by as a friend dropped a homemade bomb into the Coram restaurant in order to collect insurance money, Suffolk prosecutors said Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Michael Massian, 26, of Selden, was outside Apizza Italy on Route 112 in January 2009 when Bryan Vite, 22, of Ridge, set fire to the restaurant by dropping a Molotov cocktail through a vent on the roof. The fire endangered people in a nearby store but did not hurt anyone, Assistant District Attorney Peter Timmons said.

A Suffolk grand jury last week indicted Massian on two counts of first-degree arson and one count each of second-degree arson, third-degree arson, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree criminal solicitation and third-degree insurance fraud.

Massian pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday in Suffolk County Court. He is to return to court Aug. 17. County Court Judge Gary Weber ordered him held on $300,000 bond or $150,000 bail.

Massian failed to collect about $10,000 in insurance money, Timmons said. Vite pleaded guilty in October 2009 to second-degree attempted arson and is awaiting sentencing.

An attorney for Massian could not be reached for comment.

- CARL MACGOWAN

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