World

Former Nassau County Executive Sentenced to 12 Years in Bribery Scheme

Edward P. Mangano, the former Nassau County Executive who for years participated in a bribery and kickback scheme, was sentenced Thursday to 12 years in federal prison for his role in what prosecutors called a “a culture of corruption” at the heart of Long Island’s Republican political machine.

Mr. Mangano, 60, was convicted in March 2019 on counts including bribery and wire fraud. It was the second trial in the case, after the first ended in a mistrial in 2018. He was acquitted on two counts, including an extortion charge.

Mr. Mangano’s wife, Linda, 59, was convicted at the same trial on fourcounts, including making false statements and obstruction of justice. She was sentenced in a separate proceeding Thursday, also in federal court on Long Island, to 15 months in prison.

Prosecutors at trial showed that, between 2010 and 2015, Mr. Mangano accepted bribes and kickbacks from a Long Island restaurant owner, Harendra Singh, in exchange for favorable official actions, including steering contracts to Mr. Singh and helping him secure about $20 million in loans.

Mr. Mangano received an expensive massage chair, new hardwood flooring, and a $7,300 watch from Mr. Singh, the government said. Mr. Singh also helped arrange and subsidize a Mangano family trip to Turks and Caicos, prosecutors said.

When the authorities got wind of Mr. Mangano’s activities, prosecutors said, the Manganos conspired to derail a grand jury investigation — and Ms. Mangano lied to the F.B.I. about a no-show job she held as a “food taster” at one of Mr. Singh’s restaurants, Water’s Edge, for which she was paid more than $450,000.

Mr. Singh himself was at the center of several public corruption investigations led by New York federal prosecutors, centering on his businesses and political connections.

In 2016, Mr. Singh pleaded guilty to bribing Mr. Mangano and admitted to his role in other bribery schemes involving Long Island officials. He has not yet been sentenced.

He also secretly admitted to trying to bribe former New York mayor Bill de Blasio — their relationship had been the focus of a federal investigation that ultimately yielded no charges against the former mayor, who denied wrongdoing.

Since their 2016 arrest, the Manganos have steadfastly maintained their innocence and have sought to have the conviction overturned. In a memo to the court filed ahead of the sentencing, Mr. Mangano’s lawyer, Kevin J. Keating, said Mr. Singh — the government’s lead witness — had lied at trial and said prosecutors had not proven their case.

Mr. Keating did not immediately respond to a request for comment after Thursday’s sentencing.

Mr. Keating asked for “substantial leniency” at sentencing and said Mr. Mangano would continue to seek exoneration. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York, which includes Long Island, sought a sentence of more than 17 years, citing his “brazen use of a government position to enrich himself.” Prosecutors asked Judge Joan M. Azrack for a 30-month sentence for Ms. Mangano.

In their sentencing memorandum filed last month, federal prosecutors said Mr. Mangano “engaged in a stunning abuse of power” from the moment he took office in 2010. They noted that he never accepted responsibility for the convicted crimes, and said Ms. Mangano “shows an utter lack of remorse.”

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