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Judge leaves lawsuit against Oyster Bay concessionaire

The opening of Tobay Beach with the Seafood

The opening of Tobay Beach with the Seafood Shack on May 23, 2015. Photo Credit: Andrew Theodorakis

State Supreme Court Judge Julianne T. Capetola on Thursday recused herself from presiding over a lawsuit against Oyster Bay's Tobay Beach concessionaire and affiliated companies.

The case was reassigned to Judge Robert A. Bruno at the Mineola courthouse. Capetola declined to say why she removed herself from the case brought by Capital One Equipment Finance Corp. against Singh Hospitality Group Inc.

Motions were due Thursday in the case, but attorneys for Capital One and Singh were granted an adjournment until July 9.

Capital One Equipment attorney Scott Chait of Peretore ... Peretore PC in Woodbury declined to comment. Singh attorney Darren Epstein of New City did not return a call.

Capital One Equipment of Melville sued Singh Hospitality of Bethpage in August, alleging it had defaulted on loans in February 2014.

In April, the creditor's attorney asked Capetola to grant them $152,608 and the surrender or seizure of equipment at three locations, including Tobay Beach, where a company controlled by restaurateur Harendra Singh of Laurel Hollow operates the Seafood Shack for Oyster Bay. Epstein has disputed the allegations.

Capetola is married to Anthony Capetola, a Williston Park-based attorney who represented Oyster Bay commissioner of planning and development Frederick Ippolito in his March arraignment on federal tax evasion charges.

Ippolito sold his restaurant, Christiano's, in Syosset to a Singh company in 2013.

The restaurant closed in February 2014, the same month Capital One Equipment alleges Singh Hospitality defaulted on its loan. In September, Newsday reported the restaurant had been transferred to Gold Coast Hospitality Group, a company controlled by Singh's wife, Ruby. In March, the Singhs said they were closing the restaurant for good and turning the property over to the landlord.

Capital One Equipment's lawsuit alleges the spousal transfer was made to put assets out of reach of creditors, in violation of state laws.

Judge Capetola also is the stepmother of Oyster Bay Town Board member Michele Johnson, who last year voted to extend Singh's concessions agreements at the town golf course and Tobay Beach by 20 years.


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