Former Nassau County executive and wife convicted of corruption in case involving Indian-American

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(Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

On March 8, following a seven-week trial, a federal jury in Central Islip, New York, returned guilty verdicts against former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano on multiple counts of accepting bribes and kickbacks in exchange for official government action, and for conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to a press release from the Justice Department’s U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Linda Mangano, the wife of Edward Mangano, was also convicted of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and making false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents in connection with her employment by Long Island restaurateur Harendra Singh. The conviction was announced by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Richard P. Donoghue and others, March 8.

Earlier, Singh “eventually pleaded guilty to bribing the two officials, and agreed to testify against them,” The New York Times reported March 8. Edward Mangano is quoted saying in the Times report that he will appeal the conviction.

Edward Mangano faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment on honest services wire fraud charges and conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, up to 10 years’ imprisonment for federal program bribery, and up to five years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit federal program bribery.  Edward Mangano and Linda Mangano each face up to 20 years’ imprisonment for each obstruction of justice charge, and up to five years’ imprisonment for each false statement charge. They will be sentenced by United States District Judge Joan M. Azrack.

“As found by the jury, Edward Mangano abused his power as a public official by taking bribes and kickbacks from a businessman in exchange for helping him obtain loans worth millions of taxpayer dollars,” U.S. Attorney Donoghue is quoted saying in the press release.  “Among the personal benefits received was a lucrative no-show job for Linda Mangano,” Donoghue added.

“In a quid-pro-quo wheeling and dealing, Edward Mangano effectively opened the door that unjustly benefitted restaurateur Harendra Singh, sat idly by while public funds were exchanged for favors, and waited patiently in the wings to accept a payout for the plan he put in motion,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney.  “In Linda Mangano’s case, she kept up the ruse with a bogus job as food taster and menu planner at one of Singh’s restaurants,” Sweeney added.

Prosecutors say the evidence at trial established that between January 2010 and February 2015, Edward Mangano engaged in schemes to solicit and receive bribes and kickbacks from Singh.  In return for the cash and personal benefits he received, Mangano, who served as Nassau County Executive from January 2010 to December 2017, performed official actions to benefit Singh in connection with his businesses, the press release says.

The following details of the case (in italics) are taken verbatim from the press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office available at – https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/former-nassau-county-executive-edward-mangano-and-his-wife-linda-mangano-convicted

The TOB Loan Scheme

Several weeks after Edward Mangano took office as Nassau County Executive in January 2010, he urged the TOB Supervisor to help Singh obtain financing in order to make required capital improvements at TOBAY Beach and The Woodlands at the TOB golf course, by authorizing the TOB to indirectly guarantee four bank loans totaling approximately $20 million.  Mangano used his official position to ensure that the TOB backed the loans.  In April 2010, Singh hired Linda Mangano for a sham job as the purported Director of Marketing for Singh’s businesses.  On June 8, 2010, the TOB board voted to authorize the town to back Singh’s personal loans for the beach and the golf course.  Singh paid for five vacations, hardwood flooring, a custom-made office chair, a massage chair and a watch for the Manganos, as well as over $450,000 in total for Linda Mangano’s no-show job.  

Obstruction of Justice

Edward and Linda Mangano conspired to obstruct a federal grand jury investigation when they schemed with Singh to fabricate examples of work never performed by Linda Mangano’s at the Water’s Edge, in an attempt to thwart a grand jury investigation.  On May 20, 2015 and May 22, 2015, Linda Mangano made false statements to the FBI and federal prosecutors about the work she claimed to have performed for Singh.

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