Linda and Edward Mangano, right, are greeted by supporters as...

Linda and Edward Mangano, right, are greeted by supporters as they arrive at federal court in Central Islip on Tuesday. Credit: James Carbone

This story was reported by Nicole Fuller, Robert E. Kessler, Bridget Murphy and Andrew Smith.  It was written by Murphy.

Edward Mangano's attorney ended a nearly six-hour closing argument at his client's corruption retrial on Tuesday by pleading with jurors "to do justice" by his client, who he said took no "formal government action" as Nassau County executive in exchange for what prosecutors claim were bribes from restaurateur Harendra Singh.

"He's waited a long time for this," lawyer Kevin Keating said, pointing to his client at the defense table in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. "It's time to do justice."

"Singh," the defense attorney added, "got nothing" from Edward Mangano.

"Nothing," Keating then repeated for the jury. ". . . Please remember this, please."

Prosecutors have alleged Singh bribed Mangano with perks that included a $454,000 "no-show" job for his wife, Linda Mangano, five vacations to destinations including Florida and the Caribbean, two luxury chairs, hardwood flooring for the Bethpage couple's bedroom and a $7,300 wristwatch for one of their sons.

Linda Mangano is standing trial, too, after authorities say she conspired with her spouse to cover up bribes from the restaurateur and that she lied to the FBI.

The government says Edward Mangano paid Singh back for his alleged bribes by asserting his influence as Nassau's new county executive in early 2010 to sway Oyster Bay officials into granting what amounted to $20 million in indirect loans for Singh's now-defunct restaurant empire.

Prosecutors also say Edward Mangano illegally steered to Singh in 2012 two county contracts that together were worth more than $400,000.

Closing arguments began Monday after five weeks of witness testimony in the couple's retrial.

It follows a mistrial in their case in May, when a jury also acquitted former Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto of corruption charges.

On Tuesday, Keating picked up on a common theme from his closing argument Monday by assailing Singh's character. He again dubbed him a "sociopath," and accused him of lying at least 50 times during the trial.

"Please remember that Singh started cooperating only when he was facing life in prison," the defense attorney said.

Keating also spent part of Tuesday trying to counter the government's contention that Edward Mangano broke the law by using his clout to push through an Oyster Bay loan deal for Singh.

Keating disputed that his client took any formal action, saying "attending a meeting" or "expressing support for a position" don't add up to the legal definition of bribery.

The Garden City lawyer also told jurors the loan deal went through because the restaurateur always "had his way" with Oyster Bay.

When Singh landed his first town loan deal in 2010, he had been signing favorable food concession agreements with the municipality for more than a decade, Keating said.

It makes no sense, the attorney further argued, that Singh would have needed Mangano's help to persuade Venditto to do what the restaurateur wanted.

"For 12 years before Ed Mangano was the county executive, Harendra Singh had his way with the town of Oyster Bay," Keating declared.

Trial witnesses had described a key meeting that took place in April 2010 at Venditto's political headquarters in which Edward Mangano expressed support for the town's supporting Singh in a loan deal.

The meeting happened after Oyster Bay's outside counsel, Jonathan Sinnreich, found the proposed deal would be illegal and "a complete sham," according to his testimony.

But Keating emphasized Tuesday that all his client did was "stand against a wall in a meeting," which he said falls far short of formal government action.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Mirabile said, however, in her closing argument Monday that bribes began flowing in and corruption started with the alleged Oyster Bay loan scheme right after Mangano took his seat at the helm of Nassau's government in January 2010.

The prosecutor said the county executive was looking to fill a salary gap after sacrificing a higher income as a private practice attorney and part-time county legislator. At the same time, Singh needed an infusion of capital for his business, Mirabile said.

Singh and Mangano were "partners in crime" who were "tied by corruption, power and greed," she told jurors.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says one of the contracts Edward Mangano steered to Singh was a deal to supply bread and rolls to the Nassau Count Jail. They've alleged the other was a no-bid contract to feed relief workers at a county emergency operations center after superstorm Sandy.

But the defense has insisted Singh landed part of the bread and rolls contract only after the county legislature's then-presiding officer stressed that contracts should go to local vendors. In the end, Singh had to turn down the contract after his wife's bakery couldn't handle the volume.

The defense also has maintained it was other  county employees who had relationships with Singh, and not Edward Mangano, who steered the post-Sandy contract to him.

Throughout the trial, the defense has framed Singh, 60, of Laurel Hollow, as a liar who would say anything against the Manganos to try to win leniency at his upcoming sentencing for crimes including bribery and tax evasion.

The defense says the perks Singh provided were gifts from a longtime family friend, and that Singh won a single Nassau County contract only after "an act of God" struck, in the form of a historic hurricane.

Keating also tried on Tuesday to cast doubt on the testimony of Ridge contractor Anthony Gulino, reminding jurors that the indictment against his client didn't include any charges related to the witness's account.

Gulino told jurors he gave Edward Mangano $3,600 in cash in an envelope in 2012 to ensure “access” to him after his company did a porch rail repair at the Manganos’ home.

Gulino testified that the county executive took the cash and then wrote him a check for nearly the same amount to create a paper trail that made it appear he had paid for the repair.

Singh testified later that he laundered the bills at Edward Mangano’s request after he called and asked him to switch the money because of a fear the cash might be marked.

But Keating reminded jurors Tuesday that Gulino testified under a cooperation agreement with the government after admitting to a tax offense.

The defense attorney also pointed to Gulino's testimony that he didn't win some Nassau contracts he sought later, and that Mangano told him there was nothing he could do after Gulino complained about late county payments.

Keating also questioned Tuesday why prosecutors didn't call former Oyster Bay deputy town attorney Frederick Mei as a witness — as they did in the first trial.

Mei pleaded guilty to honest services fraud and testified in the initial proceeding under a cooperation agreement with the government, saying he took bribes from Singh.

Keating reminded jurors that Mei wore a wire for the FBI, recording Singh telling him that he got "nothing" from Mangano.

"Fred Mei was in the middle of Singh's corruption for 17 years," Keating said.

The defense attorney also derided the testimony of prosecution witness Leonard Genova, the former Oyster Bay deputy supervisor.

Keating called him "Immunity Len" — an allusion to Genova's immunity agreement with the government that protected him from criminal charges. 

Genova testified that Edward Mangano played a key role in securing Oyster's Bay loan backing for Singh. But he seemed to falter under cross-examination when it came to recalling details of the pivotal meeting at Venditto's headquarters.

Edward Mangano, 56, is standing trial on seven felony offenses that include bribery and conspiracy.

Linda Mangano, 55, is on trial for five felonies that include charges of making false statements to the FBI.

One of her attorneys will deliver a closing argument Wednesday before jurors are expected to hear a rebuttal from the prosecution and then U.S. District Judge Joan Azrack's instructions on the law.

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