Finance exec: Singh facilitated loans backed by Oyster Bay Town

<p>A finance executive linked a disgraced restaurateur to about $20 million in loans backed by the Town of Oyster Bay Monday during testimony in the federal corruption trial against Ed Mangano and John Venditto.</p>

News 12 Staff

Apr 23, 2018, 3:55 PM

Updated 2,222 days ago

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A finance executive linked a disgraced restaurateur to about $20 million in loans backed by the Town of Oyster Bay Monday during testimony in the federal corruption trial against Ed Mangano and John Venditto.
Mangano was Nassau County executive at the time, and Venditto was the town supervisor in Oyster Bay. 
Barry Edelstein, a managing partner of the finance company Structured Growth Capital, said that the loans went so well that he and Harendra Singh planned a celebratory dinner. Edelstein said that he and partners from another firm called NDL Capital met on several occasions with town officials to make sure they would back the loans.
When prosecutor Catherine Mirable asked Edelstein if the loan would have been possible without Oyster Bay's commitment, he answered, "No." 
He acknowledged that he never spoke directly with Venditto, then the town's highest ranking official. And when Venditto's defense lawyer Marc Agnifilo held up a series of pictures of town officials, Edelstein was only able to identify one of them.
He said his main point of contact for the loans was former deputy town attorney Fred Mei, another witness in the trial. Mei has separately pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from Singh.
After the successful loans, Edelstein said Singh attempted to play a role in helping Nassau find financing to refurbish the Coliseum.  He proposed a meeting between Edelstein and Mangano.
After a pair of meetings, one at Mangano's office and one at Singh's restaurant, the parties did not move forward. But Edelstein described Singh as a middleman.
During cross-examination, Mangano's defense attorney Kevin Keating suggested that the meetings were not about the Coliseum, but instead about financing for a minor league baseball stadium at Mitchell Field. Edelstein acknowledged that that discussion did take place, and that Long Island Ducks owner Frank Boulton was present in at least one of the meetings.


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