Ex-NY official convicted in multimillion-dollar bribe case: prosecutors

US

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former top elected official on New York’s Long Island was convicted on Friday of taking bribes to help a local businessman obtain millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded loans, federal prosecutors announced.

FILE PHOTO: Edward Mangano, Nassau County Executive, and his wife Linda, both facing federal corruption charges, leave arraignment hearings outside federal court in Central Islip, New York, U.S., October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A federal court jury in Central Islip, New York, found former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano guilty of bribery, honest services fraud, obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue.

Mangano, a Republican, was the top elected official in Nassau County, one of the wealthiest counties in the United States. His term ended in 2017 and he did not seek re-election.

Mangano’s wife, Linda Mangano, was also convicted of related charges of obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal agents.

The most serious charges carry up to 20 years in prison, prosecutors said.

“Linda is disappointed by the verdict but remains optimistic that she will be vindicated on appeal,” Linda Mangano’s lawyer, John Carman, said in an email.

A lawyer for Edward Mangano could not immediately be reached for comment.

Prosecutors had charged Mangano and John Venditto, a former town supervisor of Oyster Bay, Long Island, with accepting bribes and kickbacks from restaurateur Harendra Singh in exchange for favorable treatment, including government contracts and loans. They said the bribes included a no-show job for Linda Mangano.

Singh was separately charged in 2015, pleaded guilty and testified at the trial. He was a major fundraiser for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was also investigated for possible corruption by state and federal authorities but ultimately not charged. De Blasio has denied wrongdoing.

Nassau County’s finances have been in disarray for years and are subject to a state-operated oversight board.

A previous trial for the Manganos, both 56, ended last May with a hung jury. Venditto was cleared of related charges in the same trial.

Venditto, also a Republican, resigned in 2017 from the town supervisor position in Oyster Bay, located in the eastern part of the county.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Tom Brown and Marguerita Choy

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