Bob Morgan indicted for fraud
Almost five months after a federal judge dismissed sweeping mortgage fraud charges against prominent developer Robert “Bob” Morgan and three co-defendants, the four are again charged with felonies – and, once again, he These are allegations of radical mortgage fraud.
An unsealed indictment Thursday against Morgan and his development associates is almost as rich in criminal allegations as the one dismissed by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford last year. This indictment included 114 criminal charges; the last includes 104.
Morgan and his co-defendants were arraigned Thursday before a federal magistrate in a virtual hearing.
His son, Todd, who was a project manager at Morgan’s trading and real estate companies, is also charged with Morgan; Frank Giacobbe, a mortgage broker who according to the original indictment also allegedly defrauded banks while working with Morgan’s company; and Michael Tremiti, former chief financial officer of The Morgan Company.
The four pleaded not guilty on Thursday in the indictment before US magistrate Kenneth Schroeder Jr.
“As he has been doing since May 2019, Mr. Morgan will continue to defend himself vigorously and remain confident that the truth will once again prevail in the courts against the government’s baseless allegations and inappropriate tactics in its investigation and prosecution,” his lawyers Joel M. Cohen and Lee Dunst said in a released statement.
Three others pleaded guilty to alleged fraud and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in the previous indictment.
In his decision last year, Wolford determined that federal prosecutors were slow to provide evidence to lawyers in the case, denying the accused the right to a speedy trial. However, she left open the possibility of a new indictment, ruling that the federal authorities had not acted deliberately.
“In executing the search warrants in this case, my office, working with our law enforcement partners, moved quickly to take action to try and limit the amount of damage caused by the suspected widespread fraud of the defendants, “US attorney James P Kennedy Jr. said in a press release Thursday:” While this effort has been successful in achieving this goal, the sad truth is that the speed with which we have moved has may also have contributed to the reasons why the original indictment in this case was dismissed by the Ultimately, however, this new indictment now ensures that defendants will be held to answer for serious crimes that are alleged therein. ”
Prosecutors alleged in the original indictment that Morgan and his colleagues obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in bank loans through fraudulent loan applications. The new indictment reflects many of the allegations, alleging that the fraudulently obtained loans totaled nearly $ 400 million.
The loss “suffered by financial institutions and government sponsored businesses throughout the mortgage fraud scheme is currently estimated at more than $ 9.5 million,” federal prosecutors said in the press release,
There are also allegations of insurance fraud, just like the previous indictment, with a loss of around $ 3 million.
David Rothenberg, who represents Todd Morgan, said after the arraignment on Thursday: “Nothing has changed. Todd Morgan has pleaded not guilty and we will defend ourselves against this indictment as vigorously as possible.”
Morgan was one of Western New York’s leading real estate and business developers and owned apartment complexes in the Northeast and elsewhere. He has since sold much of his rental empire to pay back $ 65 million to investors who loaned him money to help finance his projects.
This reimbursement helped bring about a federal government Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit against Morgan to a resolution.
Contact Gary Craig at [email protected] or 585-258-2479. Follow him on Twitter at gcraig1.