Manganos found guilty in retrial, face up to 20 years in prison

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Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, as seen leaving the federal courthouse in Central Islip last year. (Photo by Joe Nikic)

Former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife, Linda Mangano, were both found guilty of corruption charges by a federal jury in a decision released Friday morning.

After a seven-week trial in Central Islip, Edward Mangano was convicted on multiple counts of bribery and accepting kickbacks in exchange for governmental action.

Linda Mangano received guilty verdicts for obstruction of justice and making false statements to FBI agents about her employment by Harendra Singh, a restaurant owner on Long Island. Both were found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The Manganos each face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

They will receive their sentencing from United States District Attorney Judge Joan M. Arzack. A date has not been set.

Ed Mangano’s bribery conviction is based on a deal he made with Singh, who was a star witness in the trial, in which the restauranteur kicked back money and personal benefits in return for pushing the Town of Oyster Bay to authorize loans for Singh, according to the United States Attorney’s office.

The $20-million loan financed Singh’s five vacations, hardwood flooring, a custom-made office chair, a massage chair and a watch he bought for the Manganos, a press release from the United States Attorneys Office states.

Some $450,000 of the loans were allocated to Linda Mangano’s no-show job as director of marketing at Singh’s businesses. She was hired for the position in April 2010.

The trial established that these acts were conducted between January 2010 and February 2015. Mangano served at the county executive from January 2010 until December 2017.

“As found by the jury, Edward Mangano abused his power as a public official by taking bribes and kickbacks from a businessman in exchange for helping him obtain loans worth millions of dollars in taxpayer dollars,” Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.

He said the defendants then “tried and failed” to cover up their crimes by lying to the FBI and federal prosecutors.

The Mangano’s obstructed justice by conspiring with Singh to fabricate work Linda Mangano performed in the bogus position at Singh’s restaurant, the Water’s Edge in Long Island City, to prevent a grand jury investigation, according to the press release.

Linda Mangano then made fabricated statements about her work with Singh to the FBI and federal prosecutors on May 20 and 22, 2015.

In a press conference outside of the courthouse, Ed Mangano said that he is now going to go home and take care of his wife “who clearly should not have been charged in the first instance.”

He said he is very proud of his service as the county executive.

“I would not and could not be bribed by anyone,” Mangano said.  “The jury saw that.”

His wife said that while there is relief the trial is over, she will not stop fighting for what’s right.

The Manganos’ attorney Kevin Keating said the Manganos were “bitterly disappointed” with the verdict.

He said the jury spoke only to the one count over the event with the Town of Oyster Bay and found he had nothing to do with the two cases dealing with Nassau County.

Ed Mangano was not found guilty on bribery charges for a contract he gave to Singh to provide bread and rolls to the Nassau County Jail and another contract where Singh provided emergency food to county workers in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

“I remind everyone that Ed Mangano was the county executive of Nassau County, not the Town of Oyster Bay,” he said. “So anticipate a vigorous appeal as it relates that Ed Mangano took official action on behalf of the Oyster Bay matter.”

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran issued a press release following the verdict in which she discussed changes she made to prevent further corruption in the county.

“Today is a sad reminder that for too long, Nassau County’s taxpayers paid a high price for a government that did not work for them,” Curran said.

With her anti-corruption measures in place, she said: “Nassau has turned the page.”

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