The United States of America against Edward and Linda Mangano — the reboot — kicked off Wednesday with a superseding indictment against the couple, who returned to the same 9th-floor courtroom in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, where they entered not guilty pleas before the same judge who, in May, had declared a mistrial.
The allegations in the new indictment against Edward Mangano, Nassau’s former county executive, and Linda Mangano, his wife, remain the same.
Edward Mangano is again facing seven counts, including bribery, extortion and conspiracy to obstruct justice; Linda Mangano still is facing five, including conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
But the indictment also includes new information.
The document notes, for example, on the first page, that the Town of Oyster Bay — home of Harendra Singh, the Manganos' former friend who is expected to testify once the second trial begins in October — has 18 villages and 18 hamlets.
During the first trial, the geography of Nassau County and Oyster Bay became a side issue, as prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the occasional witness, found themselves either having to detail — or answer questions — about the layout of the land for the benefit of jurors unfamiliar with the oft-confusing political and topographical terrain.
The document also notes, on a cover sheet, that a new prosecutor, Christopher C. Caffarone, has been added to the government team of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lara Treinis Gatz and Catherine M. Mirabile.
Caffarone, who secured the convictions of the late body armor magnate David Brooks and the leaders of multimillion dollar Ponzi schemes, last year was named deputy chief of the Long Island Criminal Division of the Eastern District of New York’s branch of the U.S. attorney’s office.
But perhaps the biggest change in the new indictment was the detailed list of 11 allegedly false statements that Linda Mangano gave to FBI agents during multiple interviews.
During the trial, one part of the defense put up by Linda Mangano’s attorney, John Carman of Garden City, was that the government — before that trial — never specified which of his client's statements allegedly were false.
The issue first came up during Carman’s opening statement, when Carman told jurors that the government had not provided him with Linda Mangano’s allegedly false statements. Carman would go on to make the assertion time and time again during cross examination of witnesses, including an FBI agent tasked with taking notes on government interviews with Linda Mangano, and again in his closing statement.
The government addressed the issue itself in its summations, with Mirabile at one point telling jurors, “John Carman had 34 pages of notes . . . and his fake pretending that he didn’t is a bad act.”
But some members of the jury, in interviews with Newsday after U.S. District Court Judge Joan Azrack declared a mistrial, said they found Carman’s assertions compelling enough to consider acquitting Linda Mangano.
With the listing in the superseding indictment, that portion of Carman’s defense presumably goes away. “I guess they learned their lesson that it was a bad strategy not to identify the false statements,” Carman said in an interview Wednesday.
The second trial will show which tack the defense — for both Edward and Linda Mangano — will take against the government’s reconfigured prosecution team.
Azrack set jury selection to begin on Oct. 11.