In September, prominent Long Island restaurateur Harendra Singh was indicted on 13 federal charges including bribing an Oyster Bay official to obtain loan guarantees. As Singh's legal battle continues, the town must deal with the fallout of its relationship with him. Here's the case at a glance.
What is the fallout for Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto and the Town Board?
Supervisor John Venditto narrowly won re-election in November by 99 votes in an election where corruption had been raised as an issue. Venditto's role in the Singh scandal remains unclear as he has not answered questions about how he and the town ended up so intertwined with Singh. Since the election, board members have begun exercising a greater level of independence.
Pictured, Venditto supporters -- most of whom are construction union members -- held signs, applauded and shouted insults at public speakers who questioned Venditto about the town's concessions deals with Singh at a town board meeting on Sept. 29, 2015 at Oyster Bay Town Hall.
What is the financial fallout for the town?
Oyster Bay has run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend its position regarding the loan guarantees. One outside legal firm hired for this case had a $234,487 bill for work from May to September. Aside from legal fees, the town could be on the hook for millions of dollars of loan guarantees. If the loan guarantees are found to be valid, the town could face enforcement action by the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to disclose them and it could also affect the town's bond rating.
Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, center, is pictured during a hearing at the town hall in Oyster Bay.
Where did the money go?
Oyster Bay repeatedly extended its concessions deals with Singh's companies to allow them to obtain financing for capital improvements to town-owned facilities. Though the town board passed resolutions in 2014 declaring that independent reviews showed Singh's companies had spent at least $11.7 million, the independent reviews provided by the town only account for $5.6 million and federal prosecutors said Singh diverted loan money elsewhere.
Singh is seen here after his Sept. 9 arrest.
What is the legal fallout for Oyster Bay?
The town faces investigations from the federal government, the Nassau County district attorney and the Securities Exchange Commission. The federal allegations against Singh say that he bribed a town official who arranged meetings between the town and Singh's lenders.
What happens to the Singhs?
Some of the dozens of companies established by Singh were put into his wife Ruby's name, including those that still have concessions agreements with the town. Venditto said a proposal has been made that would remove the Singhs from those companies. The Singhs and their companies have been sued for millions of dollars by their creditors and federal prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of assets including their Laurel Hollow home. New York City has sued Singh's company to evict it from the Water's Edge Restaurant in Long Island City. Singh's mother has taken over management of his flagship restaurant, H.R. Singletons in Bethpage.
Ruby Singh is seen here on Sept. 9, 2015.
What happens to the concessions?
Venditto said the town is considering a proposal that would allow investors to take over operations of the concessions, remove the loan guarantees and get the Singh's out. The town could also issue a new request for proposals and seek completely new operators, but that could trigger lawsuits over the loan guarantees.
This is a view of The Woodlands banquet hall, operated by Singh on the grounds of the Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course in Woodbury on July 1, 2015.