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New indictment against Rochester developer Bob Morgan and 3 others


A Morgan Communities property, The Nathaniel apartment complex, at the corner of South Avenue and Court Street. - PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH
  • A Morgan Communities property, The Nathaniel apartment complex, at the corner of South Avenue and Court Street.
Federal authorities have announced that a grand jury has returned a new indictment against Rochester developer Robert Morgan and three others.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says a 104-count indictment has been filed, charging Robert Morgan, Todd Morgan, Frank Giacobbe, and Michael Tremiti with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud in connection with a wide-ranging mortgage fraud scheme.

Last October, a federal judge dismissed fraud charges in the case, saying that prosecutors mishandled discovery in the case.

In a statement released on Thursday, U.S. Attorney in Western NY, James Kennedy Jr., said that when they were using search warrants last year, his office and other federal authorities acted quickly to take action to try to limit the amount of damage from the defendants alleged fraud.

And Kennedy said that while that effort succeeded in that objective, the swiftness in the action by the federal authorities may have also contributed to the reasons that led to the original indictment being dismissed. But Kennedy says the new indictment ensures “the defendants will be held to answer” for the serious crimes being alleged.

Attorneys for Robert Morgan, Joel M. Cohen and Lee Dunst, released this statement on Thursday:

“As he has since May 2019, Mr. Morgan will continue to vigorously defend himself, and remains confident that the truth will once again prevail in court against the government’s meritless allegations and improper tactics in its investigation and prosecution.”

The defendants in the new indictment were arraigned this week and released on conditions.

The U.S. Attorney's office says that other defendants, including Kevin Morgan and Patrick Ogiony were previously convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and defendant Scott Cresswell was previously convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. All three of those defendants are awaiting sentencing.

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY.