A federal judge has scheduled a December hearing to determine if the corruption convictions of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife, Linda, should be overturned because of defense claims that a key government witness in the case lied on the witness stand, according to court records.
Defense attorneys for the Manganos maintain that the witness, former Long Island restaurateur Harendra Singh, committed perjury while testifying in a civil case. In separate filings addressing the allegations, federal prosecutors deny Singh perjured himself.
The hearing scheduled for Dec. 21 at the federal court in Central Islip would see both federal prosecutors and defense attorneys question Singh before U.S. District Judge Joan Azrack. The motion to overturn the Manganos’ convictions and grant them a new trial is one of a number filed by the couple’s defense attorneys to overturn the verdicts.
Azrack has not set a date yet for the sentencing of the Manganos, who were convicted in March 2019 after a seven-week retrial and six days of jury deliberations.
Edward Mangano was convicted of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery, federal program bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, honest services wire fraud, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Linda Mangano was found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and two counts of lying to the FBI.
Prosecutors had claimed that Edward Mangano took bribes from Singh that included a $454,000 "no-show" job for Linda Mangano, free vacations and meals, two luxury chairs, upscale wood covering for the floor in their bedroom, and a wristwatch costing $7,300 for one of their sons.
In return, prosecutors said Mangano pressured Town of Oyster Bay officials to get Singh what amounted to $20 million in indirect loan guarantees.
In their motion to overturn the Manganos’ convictions, the defense attorneys said that in an unrelated civil trial in Nassau State Supreme Court, Singh apparently testified that Edward Mangano was not involved in the alleged Oyster Bay scheme. Singh was suing two former associates for supposedly failing to pay him $1.2 million for a part of his concession to operate the Woodlands, an event venue owned by the Town of Oyster Bay.
In the civil case after the Manganos’ criminal trial, Singh was asked, according to defense attorneys, whether his guilty plea in the Manganos’ case was connected to the loan scheme, and he replied, "I do not believe so," and at another point said his bribing the Manganos had "had nothing to do with the Town of Oyster Bay."
In their response to defense arguments, federal prosecutors said the Manganos’ attorneys misrepresented the context in which Singh testified in the civil case.
The argument by the defense "fails as it rests exclusively upon select snippets of Singh’s deposition testimony that are mischaracterized," the prosecutors wrote, adding Singh was responding to what they said were badly worded questions by an attorney in the case.
Edward Mangano’s attorney, Kevin Keating, declined to comment Thursday, as did Linda Mangano’s lawyer, John Carman.
John Marzulli, a spokesman for Eastern District federal prosecutors Catherine Mirabile, Lara Treinis Gatz, and Christopher Caffarone, also declined to comment.
An attorney for Singh could not be reached immediately.