MINEOLA, NY (TIP): Long Island restaurateur Harendra Singh was re-arrested by FBI agents Wednesday, December 16, on a charge of violating the conditions of his release on $5 million bond by submitting a fraudulent loan application, according to a Newsday report.
Singh was ordered jailed until at least a hearing Thursday by U.S. Magistrate Arlene Lindsay at the federal court house in Central Islip.
Newsday recounted that Singh was arrested in September and released on bond with the proviso that he engage in no criminal activity. He was re-arrested by FBI agents Wednesday after he was asked to come to the court house to report to pre-trial services, officials said. That agency supervises federal defendants.
The original charges against Singh included allegedly bribing a former Town of Oyster Bay deputy attorney in order to have the town give him an “indirect guarantee” of $32 million in loans. The attorney allegedly received $50,000 in checks made out to cash and a $36,000 luxury car lease.
Singh has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Eastern District federal prosecutors Catherine Mirabile, Lara Treinis Gatz and Raymond Tierney originally argued that Singh should not be released on the bond because he was an economic danger to the community and might commit further crimes.
Wednesday, they reiterated those arguments in court.
Mirabile told the court that the allegedly fraudulent loan application was part of a continuing pattern of Singh’s illegal business actions, saying that he had applied in the past “numerous” times for fraudulent loans.
Mirabile, Gatz and Tierney also noted in court papers that both Singh’ wife, Ruby Singh, and mother, Rajeswari Singh, had acted as sureties on the $5 million bond, as people guaranteeing the payment of the bond and ensuring he meet its conditions.
“It is clear not only that the defendant has violated the conditions of his release, but also that his wife and mother do not provide moral suasion as sureties on the bond,” the three wrote.
Singh’s attorney, Anthony La Pinta, of Hauppauge, who said he had not had time to familiarize himself with the prosecutors claims, declined to comment after he left the courtroom.
The three prosecutors said in papers that: “Between November 2, 2015 and December 3,, 2015, the defendant submitted…fraudulent documents in support of a credit application…in direct violation of his conditions of release.”
The documents claimed that Singh needed a loan to purchase restaurant equipment from a contractor, and submitted a phony bill or invoice from the contractor to the loan company. The contractor, however, contacted the FBI, Mirabile said.
Mirabile, Treinis Gatz and Tierney, wrote in the papers requesting that that Singh be permanently detained, that he submitted an application to an unnamed private lending company for $148,511, claiming an intended purchase of restaurant equipment for one of the defendant’s restaurants, “H.R. Singleton’s,” in Bethpage.
“Among other items, the Invoice identifies equipment to be purchased from the Contracting Company such as $8,950.00 for lighting fixtures, $12,560.00 for a wine cooler, $12,000.000 for chairs, $14,950.00 for tables, and $15,759.00 for booths,” their papers said.
The lender requested additional information from Singh, including “follow-up questions, and these calls were not returned. Thereafter, the Private Lender cancelled the transaction,” court papers said.
The contractor was troubled that he had been involved by Singh in what he considered a questionable scheme and contacted the FBI earlier this month, the papers say.
“The Contractor informed the FBI special agent that the Invoice was a fake, stating that the Contracting Company had not prepared the Invoice, that the Contractor had never seen the Invoice before, and was not aware the Invoice had been created,” the prosecutors said.
Singh’s former attorney, Joseph Conway, of Mineola, has said in court that the federal prosecution of his client is motivated by the desire of prosecutors and agents to have him provide compromising information on important politicians with whom he has friendships.
Conway has said that Singh has no such information to provide.