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WNY developer accused in mortgage & insurance scheme

WNY's largest apartment owner accused in half-billion dollar mortgage fraud scheme
Posted at 5:16 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 18:19:55-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The man considered to be Western New York's largest property owner is facing dozens of federal charges linked to a mortgage and insurance fraud scheme. Robert Morgan, CEO of Morgan Management, Pittsford, New York, pleaded not guilty in Federal Court in Buffalo Wednesday.

The Rochester-based developer had no comment as he left the federal court house today. Morgan pleaded not guilty at his arraignment to federal charges accusing him and three other men, including his son, of a half-billion dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

At a news briefing following Morgan's arraignment, U.S. Attorney James Kennedy announced on the 114-count superseding indictment. It names Morgan, Frank Giacobbe, owner of Aurora Capital Advisories in Buffalo, his son Todd Morgan and Michael Tremiti with conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and money laundering.

"All four of these individuals have been variously charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, which relates to their mortgage fraud scheme, 81-substantive counts of wire fraud...15 substantive counts of bank fraud..and money laundering conspiracy," Kennedy explained.

Morgan and his son are also charged with conspiracy to defraud insurance companies. The charges accuse him of providing false information to a number mortgage and insurance companies in order to receive loans on properties that the government says were over-appraised.

Morgan operates about 3,5-hundred apartments in the Buffalo area. That include some on William Street and east Amherst in Buffalo and the Raintree and paradise apartments in Tonawanda. But Kennedy says nothing is happening to tenants at those properties at this time.

"I encourage the tenants to continue to monitor the situation, but as far as day to day - i don't believe there will be any impact at this point," responded Kennedy.

Morgan's company owns about 36,000 properties in 14-states. He was released on a $100,000. The judge ordered a scheduling conference for May 29th at 10:30 a.m.

The U.S. Attorney's office said "defendants provided false information to financial institutions and government sponsored enterprises overstating the incomes of properties owned by Morgan Management or certain principals of Morgan Management. The false information induced financial institutions to issue loans: (1) for greater values than the financial institutions would have authorized had they been provided with truthful information; and (2) that the financial institutions would not have issued at the time of issuance had they been provided with truthful information. These properties included:"

• The Preserve at Autumn Ridge, Watertown, NY;

• The Eden Square Apartments, Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania;

• The Rochester Village Apartments at Park Place, Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania;

• The Reserve at Southpointe, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania;

• 7100 South Shore Drive Apartments, Chicago, Illinois;

• The Avon Commons Apartments, Avon, NY;

• The Morgan Bay Apartments, Houston, Texas;

• Brookwood on the Green, Syracuse, NY;

• The Creek Hill Apartments, Rochester, NY;

• Hickory Hollow, Rochester, NY;

• The Knollwood Manor Apartments, Rochester, NY;

• The Links at Centerpointe, Canandaigua, NY;

• The Nineteen North Apartments, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;

• The Overlook at Golden Hills, Lexington, South Carolina;

• The Penbrooke Meadows Apartments, Rochester, NY;

• The Trails of North Hills Apartments, Raleigh, North Carolina;

• The Rivers Pointe Apartments, Syracuse, NY;

• The Union Square Apartments, Rochester, NY;

• The View at MacKenzi, York, Pennsylvania; and

• The Villas of Victor, Rochester, NY.

Read the full superseding indictment here: