One of the Rochester area’s most prominent developers is among four people charged Wednesday in what the federal government says was a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme.
Robert Morgan, whose development company has been involved in some key projects in downtown Rochester and in several other states, is one of the four people charged in a 114-count indictment.
Morgan -- along with mortgage broker Frank Giacobbe; Todd Morgan, who is Morgan’s son and worked as a project manager; and Michael Tremiti, director of finance for Morgan Management -- are all charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud in what U.S. Attorney James Kennedy says was a half-billion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme.
“The scope of the dishonesty and deceit alleged here, both in a geographic sense as well as in the dollar amount of the mortgages and properties involved, is very expansive. This type of fraud strikes at the very heart of those banking, insurance and mortgage industries," Kennedy said.
Kennedy said that the defendants are accused of conspiring with others to fraudulently obtain loans. They are accused of also defrauding insurance companies.
The four people named in the indictment on Wednesday have all entered not guilty pleas.
Three other people involved with the companies have already pleaded guilty in connection with this case.
Director of Communications for the city of Rochester, Justin Roj, released this statement when asked about any ongoing projects in the city that Robert Morgan had been involved with:
“The City is, of course concerned regarding the ongoing projects related to Mr. Morgan, and will continue to make sure he meets his obligations to our taxpayers. However, Rochester is poised for growth and has a robust development community. We will work with our business leaders to ensure that our City’s tremendous progress continues as we create more jobs; safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and greater educational opportunities.”
Director of Communications for Monroe County, Jesse Sleezer, released this statement when asked by WXXI News about any involvement with the county’s economic development agency and Morgan projects:
"We are learning of the details of this matter at the same time the public is. Imagine Monroe has had no involvement with any of the projects listed in the indictment. Neither Monroe County nor Imagine Monroe have been contacted by investigators at any point. Simply put, the County is not involved, but will continue to monitor the legal process closely moving forward."
Here is the full indictment filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office: