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Boosted. Fined. Charged.

   More news from Fin-land:

- Tax fix expected to boost projects - Phil Fairbanks/The Buffalo News
   The rehabilitation of the Hotel Lafayette is expected to move forward now that lawmakers have approved changes in the state’s historic preservation tax credit program.
   The changes, sponsored by Gov. David A. Paterson and pushed by Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, a Buffalo Democrat, are designed to correct what developers considered deficiencies in the tax credit law.
   “We’re planning to start the Lafayette 60 days from the point the governor signs the bill,” developer Rocco Termini said Thursday.

- Owner of Erie Coke plant pays environmental fines - Mark Sommer/The Buffalo News
   The Buffalo owner of an Erie, Pa., coke plant paid a $6 million fine Thursday for environmental violations Eriecoke there and agreed to comply with environmental laws and regulations, raising hopes a similar pact can be reached for the owner's Tonawanda Coke plant.
   The agreement legally binds
Erie Coke [right] and owner J.D. Crane to resolve past air-quality violations, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The settlement's timetable of improvements includes rebuilding 27 of 58 coke ovens within three years that Pennsylvania investigators found to be cracked and emitting pollutants.
   Locally, the state
Department of Environmental Conservation on Thursday cited Tonawanda Coke for a series of air-quality violations punishable by a civil penalty up to $15,000, along with an additional penalty up to $15,000 for each day a violation continues.
   More below.

- Boston man among those accused in crackdown on mortgage fraud - Dan Herbeck/The Buffalo News
   The bargain offered by Town of Boston businessman Robert E. Baschmann Jr. sounded a bit too good to be true, and federal prosecutors say it was.
   His company in 2007 started offering 30-year mortgages with a fixed interest rate of 4 percent. In order to get one, all you had to do was make an upfront payment just 1 percent of the total value of the loan.
   The problem was, according to federal prosecutors and the FBI, Baschmann kept the upfront payments and — except in just one case — never provided the money for the loans. Authorities say about 140 people were cheated out of $900,000.
   U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced Thursday prosecution of Baschmann as part of a new attack on mortgage fraud by prosecutors throughout the U.S. Justice Department.

   So, does this mean things are going better with coke?

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News 

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