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Ex-Oyster Bay official pleads guilty to honest services fraud

Frederick Mei resigned as deputy attorney for the

Frederick Mei resigned as deputy attorney for the Town of Oyster Bay on Aug. 31, 2015. Credit: LinkedIn

Former Oyster Bay Deputy Town Attorney Frederick Mei secretly pleaded guilty in September 2015 to receiving “bribes and kickbacks” for helping secure town loan guarantees for a concessionaire, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday.

Between 2011 and 2015, Mei accepted $50,000 in checks made out to cash, a trip to South Korea for himself and a family member and cash payments for a $36,000 BMW lease, according to the indictment. He pleaded guilty to a charge of honest services fraud.

The indictment does not name the concessionaire.

The circumstance of the charge matches those that Long Island businessman Harendra Singh pleaded guilty to in October 2016.

In November 2011, the concessionaire gave Mei an envelope with five $5,000 checks made out to “cash” a week after the town guaranteed a loan worth $7.8 million, according to the Sept. 2, 2015, indictment.

Mei received another envelope with five more $5,000 checks a week after the town signed a second concession-agreement amendment on June 19, 2012, according to the indictment. That helped secure a $12.3 million loan for the concessionaire.

The indictment said Mei arranged for meetings between the concessionaire and a lender in an unsuccessful bid for another loan guarantee.

According to the indictment, Singh also paid for a trip to South Korea for Mei and a relative from July 21, 2012, to July 29, 2012. Between September 2012 and February 2015, Singh began to give Mei cash monthly for the BMW lease, the indictment said. The lease totaled $36,000.

Mei’s attorney, Gary Schoer of Syosset, declined to comment late Wednesday.

Mei resigned from his $117,288-a-year position with the town on Aug. 31, 2015, three days before his indictment.

Oyster Bay Town Attorney Joseph Nocella said in a statement Wednesday that the town has “sued Singh, along with a former deputy town attorney and the law firm with whom they worked, to recover the costs of defending against fraudulent, purported loan guarantees which were concealed from the Town Board and which a federal judge has already found unenforceable.”

With Robert E. Kessler and Ted Phillips

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