Government witness Harendra Singh testified for the second week in the corruption retrial of his one time friends Edward and Linda Mangano on their personal relationship and the awarding of various loans and contracts, according to Newsday.
In cross-examination, defense attorney John Carman brought up anecdote after anecdote appearing to show a loving relationship between Linda and Singh, including an apparent inside joke that the two should ditch the former Nassau County Executive and run off together, according to Newsday.
Singh belittled the defense’s efforts, claiming that Linda showed that kind of affection to many people, and when asked if he loved the pair, said he had a caring relationship with them, according to Newsday.
Linda is charged with five counts of lying to the FBI, including claims she allegedly made regarding a $450,000 “no-show” job provided by Singh. Ed Mangano is charged with seven counts including bribery, conspiracy and extortion.
Singh, as he did in the first trial, is complying with the prosecution in an effort to receive leniency for federal charges he has since pleaded guilty to. The first trial last year ended in a mistrial after 12 weeks.
In testimony by another witness this week, former Oyster Bay outside counsel Jonathan Sinnreich, the nature of two loans that Singh applied for was addressed, according to Newsday.
Sinnreich testified that Ed Mangano was present and involved in the restructuring of loans that benefited Singh, according to Newsday.
Sinnreich, who worked with the town from 2005 to 2015, recalled telling former deputy town attorney Frederick Mei that particular amendments to two food concession agreements were “a complete sham and not legal,” according to Newsday.
Mei pleaded guilty in September 2015 to a charge of honest services fraud and admitted to taking bribes from Singh relating to the “pay-to-play” nature of the town, according to Newsday.
Sinnreich said that adjusting Singh’s loans with the town, which were already previously agreed upon to help his financially struggling businesses, was essentially a gift, dangerous to the town and forbidden under the state’s constitution, according to Newsday.
At a meeting with town officials described as pivotal to Singh eventually being awarded a town-backed credit line, Sinnreich testified that the former county executive stood adjacent to Singh and at one point placed a hand on his shoulder and expressed it was important to help the struggling restauranter, according to Newsday.
Also at that meeting was former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto. Venditto was found not guilty on 27 federal charges including bribery and wire fraud in May 2018.
The agreements with Singh did not require him to spend loan proceeds on the town and did not control how the loans would be used, according to Newsday.
Sinnreich said that following that meeting where he voiced his opposition to the deal he was excluded from further matters regarding Singh’s loans with the town.