A federal judge Tuesday delayed for two months the upcoming corruption trial of Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, his wife Linda, and former Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto.
U.S. District Judge Joan Azrack agreed to the delay because Venditto’s attorneys said they needed more time to prepare to fight additional charges of securities fraud filed against him last month in a superseding indictment.
The Manganos, who have not been charged with the securities fraud, supported the delay, as did federal prosecutors.
The trial, originally scheduled to start Jan. 16, is now scheduled to start March 12. Federal prosecutor Catherine Mirabile told the judge Tuesday that the government anticipated the trial would last six to eight weeks.
After the brief hearing, Edward Mangano’s attorney, Kevin Keating of Garden City, said, “We reluctantly agreed to the delay, because we are looking forward to a trial as soon as possible” to vindicate his client.
Venditto was indicted last month on 21 new federal criminal charges involving securities fraud in the town’s public offering of more than $1 billion in securities between 2010 and 2016.
The superseding indictment adds the new security fraud charges against Venditto, replacing the old indictment, and includes the prior charges brought by Eastern District prosecutors against both him and the Manganos.
It requires new pleas from the defendants. The Manganos and Venditto pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the new indictment.
Keating also entered a not guilty plea for Linda Mangano, saying her attorney, John Carman, also of Garden City, was not available to be in court Tuesday.
Venditto’s attorney Marc Agnifilo of Manhattan declined to comment, as did federal prosecutors Mirabile, Raymond Tierney and Lara Treinis Gatz.
Mangano and Venditto were originally indicted in October, 2016 on charges of receiving “bribes and kickbacks” from a businessman who also gave Linda Mangano a lucrative no-show job, federal authorities charge.
At that time Venditto was charged with conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud, obstruction of justice, and making false statements; Mangano with conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud, and extortion; and his wife with conspiracy, extortion, obstruction of justice, and making false statements.
They all had pleaded not guilty to those charges.
On Tuesday, Azrack also gave the Manganos and Venditto until Monday to respond to the latest government documents that outline in detail large parts of the government’s case.
The thrust of the new charges accuse Venditto and unnamed others of being instrumental in the creation of the securities fraud and then failing to disclose in the town’s public offerings what federal prosecutors said is the crux of the fraud — having the town conceal millions in indirect loan guarantees to an unidentified co-conspirator.
Sources have said the co-conspirator is former restaurateur Harendra Singh.
Singh has been charged with bribery, income-tax evasion and obstruction of justice. He has pleaded not guilty in the Eastern District.