Headlines: Gold Star families defrauded, teen enters school illegally, deadly Palisades Parkway crash

Here are some stories making headlines across the Hudson Valley.

News 12 Staff

Apr 18, 2024, 11:05 AM

Updated 40 days ago

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Caz Craffy, a U.S. Army financial counselor, pleaded guilty in federal court in New Jersey to defrauding Gold Star families, including a military mother from the Hudson Valley. Over a span of four years, Craffy admitted to taking nearly $10 million from these families to invest in accounts he managed. He executed trades without their permission, resulting in significant losses for the families while he earned over $1.4 million. Craffy is scheduled for sentencing in August.
Ben Kooperman, 18, is facing charges after entering several New Paltz school buildings Wednesday. Police reported that Kooperman gained access to the high school from the kitchen area and refused to identify himself when approached by staff. Later, he was found in a hallway near the main office before fleeing. Kooperman also entered New Paltz Middle School. He now faces multiple charges and a stay-away order.
Valentino Merceda has been charged with manslaughter following a fatal crash on the Palisades Parkway. State police reported that Merceda crashed into a car driven by Cyrus Silverio in Clarkstown. Silverio's car flipped over, striking another vehicle and a retaining wall, resulting in his death at the scene. Merceda was arraigned and sent to Rockland County Jail on a $5,000 cash bail.


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