Attorneys target Singh’s credibility in closing statements

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CENTRAL ISLIP -

In his summation Wednesday, the attorney for former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano called the prosecution’s star witness a liar who loved to give lavish gifts to his friends.

Kevin Keating said that restaurateur Harendra Singh never received anything of value in return from Ed Mangano, and said that his client’s life is on the line.

MORE: Attorneys give closing statements in Mangano-Venditto trial

In respect to a lucrative catering contract Singh received from the Nassau Office of Emergency Management after Superstorm Sandy, Keating said that decision came from the state over health concerns, not Mangano.

"If there wasn't a superstorm, Harendra Singh would have received nothing from Nassau County. Nothing," said Keating.

The prosecution argued for nine weeks that Singh used bribes and kickbacks to secure favors from Ed Mangano and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto – both of whom are facing federal corruption charges.

One of those alleged favors was a $100,000 a year no-show or low-show job for Ed Mangano’s wife Linda. 

Her attorney John Carman surmised that Singh was a liar in his closing remarks. Carman said the case against Linda Mangano is whether or not she lied to FBI agents. He argued that since the prosecution never provided transcripts or audio recordings of her comments, the jury cannot convict her.

In the afternoon, it was Venditto’s attorney Marc Angifilo's turn. He described his client as a humble man who has lived in the same home for years, worked in the same job for nearly two decades and doesn't even own a passport. He described Singh as a "sociopath."

He argued that while Singh fostered a "good guy" image with Venditto, he was quietly working with Oyster Bay Deputy Attorney Fred Mei to advance his interests at the town's expense.

"They found each other because they are both criminals. Criminals find each other, and they did,” said Agnifilo.

Agnifilo compared Singh and Mei, who each have pleaded guilty to a litany of crimes and have cooperation agreements with the government, to “Bonny and Clyde.”

He also accused the feds of "dumping on the town of Oyster Bay."

That remark drew eye rolls from some, and prompted prosecutor Lara Treinis Gatz to look back toward the gallery and smirk.

Prosecutor Catherine Mirable will offer a rebuttal to the defense summations Thursday.

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