LONG ISLAND, NY–A federal judge on Wednesday set a trial date of Jan. 9 for prominent Long Island restaurateur Harendra Singh, who has been charged with numerous crimes, including bribing a former Oyster Bay deputy town attorney, reported Newsday.
Singh’s attorney, Anthony La Pinta, suggested that a trial might not be necessary, telling U.S. District Judge Sandra Feuerstein that there are “ongoing discussions to settle the case … still ongoing,” according to Newsday report.
La Pinta also said in court that he is preparing a new bail application in the hopes of getting Singh released from jail, because of personal family reasons, according to the Newsday. La Pinta declined to comment after the hearing in federal district court in Central Islip, as did Eastern District prosecutor Catherine Mirabile.
When Singh was arrested in September on a 13-count indictment, six of the counts accused Singh of paying a bribe to a former Oyster Bay deputy town attorney to get an “indirect guarantee” of $32 million in loans for his businesses, including food concessions he ran at town beaches and a town golf course, Newsday reported.
Other charges included defrauding the Internal Revenue Service by not reporting millions of dollars in wages paid to employees of his restaurants, and fraudulently collecting almost $1 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That alleged crime refers to Singh collecting the money for falsely claiming his Water’s Edge restaurant in Long Island City was damaged during superstorm Sandy, according to Newsday.
Singh has been held without bail since December when federal prosecutors accused him of violating conditions of his release by fraudulently trying to get a new $148,000 loan, Newsday said.