HICKSVILLE, NY (TIP): Harendra Singh’s lenders have demanded that the town pay more than $14.6 million after Singh defaulted on loans guaranteed by the town of Oyster Bay, according to media reports.
Town of Oyster Bay has been facing a lot of heat after the Harendra Singh’s indictment last year and the troubles only seems to be growing as Oyster Bay’s credit rating has dropped to junk status after a decade of deficits, weak fiscal management and growing debt.
The Recovery – In three separate letters dated Feb. 26, representatives with the lending company wrote, “Phoenix Life hereby demands payment from the Town of Oyster Bay.”
In one of the letters, the attorney and the chief investment forofficer subsidiaries of Connecticut-based The Phoenix Companies demanded payment of $9.1 million for money loaned to SRB Concession Inc., which runs Tobay Beach, and $5.4 million for money loaned to S.R.B. Convention & Catering Corp. which runs the Woodlands catering hall at the town golf course. In 2014, the town board extended the concessions agreements with the Singh companies to 2065 and 2070. Singh sold his shares in the companies to outside investors, but his wife Ruby retains controlling ownership.
Singh on Sept. 9 was charged in federal court with 13 felony counts including bribing an Oyster Bay official to obtain $20 million in loan guarantees. He has pleaded not guilty.
A spokesperson for the town says it is not responsible for repaying the loans and has questioned the legality of the guarantees, but legal experts disagree.
A town spokesperson told News 12 that Oyster Bay officials are currently in settlement negotiations with the lender and new investors. The goal is to avoid a lawsuit and “amicably resolve all issues.” Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto said Wednesday, May 18, that “a lot has occurred” since the letters were sent and referred questions to the town’s outside legal counsel, Jonathan Pickhardt, at Manhattan-based Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP. “Phoenix was in discussion before and after the date of these notices with the investors at the SRB entities,” Pickhardt said Wednesday. “There certainly have been no legal claims that have been filed, seeking to have any court involvement in this.”
“It continues to be the town’s position that these amendments were not properly authorized, they’re not enforceable,” he said.