The scheme, as outlined by federal prosecutors, was audacious. Top officials in Nassau County used political clout to help a restaurateur obtain county contracts and millions of dollars in loans. In return, the restaurateur was said to have showered the officials with kickbacks and bribes.
Among other things, prosecutors said, the restaurateur provided the Oyster Bay town supervisor, John Venditto, with free meals and limousine rides. He was said to have provided the Nassau County executive at the time, Edward Mangano, with a massage chair and an expensive watch. The county executive’s wife, Linda Mangano, received close to half a million dollars for what a prosecutor called a “$100,000-a-year phony baloney no-show job.”