Singh says Mangano did ‘nothing’ for him as jury hears wiretaps

Posted: Updated:

Some explosive audio evidence was unveiled late in the afternoon Thursday in the federal corruption trial for former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, his wife Linda and former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto.

The defense entered into evidence a conversation caught on a wiretap between the prosecution's star witness Harendra Singh and former Oyster Bay Deputy Town Attorney Fred Mei.

Mei asks Singh: "Was there anything he [Mangano] did for you?"

Singh replies: "Nothing. Nothing."

Mei then says, "So, there you go."

Singh replies: "The only thing [inaudible] Sandy we got the contract to deliver food and that came only through the state, not Ed."

MORE: Ed Mangano attorney: Singh was friend of the family

Singh testified earlier in the trial that in the days after Superstorm Sandy, he visited Mangano often at the county's Office of Emergency Management. Singh said his goal was to obtain an emergency $225,000 contract to deliver meals to the first responders who were housed in the building. During Wednesday’s cross-examination, Singh acknowledged that it was OEM Commissioner Craig Craft, not Mangano, who ultimately signed the emergency contract.

In another exchange, Singh was heard in a phone conversation saying: "They want me to...tell them a story about some politician. I don't have any story about any politician. I wish I did. I mean, I could make (expletive) up, but it will be all lies."

WATCH: Newsday's Joye Brown breaks down Singh wiretaps

Earlier in the day, Mangano’s lawyer continued to press Singh about the relationship he shared with the former Nassau County executive and his wife Linda.

Singh, a restaurateur, has testified that he had a quid pro quo relationship with high-ranking Nassau County officials – using bribes to gain favor and loans for his businesses. 

Ed and Linda Mangano choked back tears as Harendra Singh downplayed his friendship with the couple. Ed Mangano's attorney Kevin Keating displayed text messages that appeared to show a great friendship between the Manganos and Singh. In March of 2013, Linda texted her Harendra: “Just wanted to tell you guys how much I love u all. Thank you so much for everything. Your friendship is the most important thing to me and u forever."

Asked why she would send that text, Singh told Keating it wasn't just to convey warm feelings. He says it was a thank you for the bribes he had paid the couple. Also in March 2013, a birthday text message from Singh to Linda: "Happy birthday my friend." 

Linda replies: "Love you, thanks for everything always."

WATCH: Newsday's Andrew Singh on Singh's 8th day on the stand

Singh told Keating in court that he had no idea when Linda's birthday was.

"I don't remember my own birthday sometimes, so obviously somebody told me it was her birthday," he said. 

At another point, Keating displayed text messages that appeared to show a friendly relationship between Singh and Sal Mangano, Ed and Linda's son. They spoke about fishing and haircuts. Singh shot back, "Sal Mangano is not my friend."

Singh did acknowledge that the Manganos paid some of the expenses during various vacations that his family shared with them. Singh said the Manganos may have paid for their own hotel room and some of the meals and excursions that everyone on the trips enjoyed. 

Keating also sought to show that Singh's illegal actions were largely hidden to the Manganos and others. In 2014, Singh says he met with then-Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, who was running for Congress. Keating asked Singh if the DA knew that he falsified business records and committed acts of fraud against the federal government. Singh says it never came up.

"I did not discuss my business matters with anyone."

Keating pressed, “You kept it secret, correct?"

"I kept it to people who were supposed to know," Singh replied.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."