Federal prosecutors are turning over tens of thousands of pages of records, including those from 300 bank accounts, to attorneys for Harendra Singh, the prominent Long Island restaurateur, in preparation for his trial on bribery and other felony charges.
The disclosure was made Monday in federal District Court in Central Islip by Eastern District Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Mirabile during a routine status conference in the case.
When U.S. District Judge Sandra Feuerstein said it sounded like an unusually large number of bank accounts, attorneys said they included Singh's personal and business records, including those for his many restaurants.See alsoDocs show town helped secure loansEditorialEditorial: Mangano and others have some explaining ...See alsoEditorial: Shameful process
The records were seized by the government during the investigation leading up to Singh's arrest in September.
Singh is charged with bribing a former Oyster Bay Town attorney with $50,000 and a $36,000 luxury-car lease in order to get an "indirect guarantee" from the town on $32 million in loans for his businesses, including concessions he operated at a town golf course and beaches.
In addition, Singh faces charges of tax evasion that accuse him of failing to report millions of dollars in wages paid off the books to employees, as well as on cash received from customers; obstruction of justice, claiming he lied to FBI agents; and illegally collecting $950,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for damages that had not occurred to his Water's Edge restaurant in Long Island City, Queens.
Singh has pleaded not guilty. No date has been set for a trial.
One of Singh's attorneys, Anthony La Pinta of Hauppauge, said after the brief hearing that it would take some time to go through the records, and "We are prepared to carefully investigate these allegations and aggressively defend Mr. Singh, while maintaining professionalism and dignity, the very characteristics that embody the man that he is."
Prosecutors Mirabile and Lara Treinis Gatz declined to comment after the hearing.