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New indictment against developer Robert Morgan, 3 others

Robert Morgan Communities

Federal authorities have announced that a grand jury has returned a new indictment against Western New York developer Robert Morgan and three others.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said 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 Thursday, U.S. Attorney James Kennedy said that when they executed 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.

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. He said 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 said 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.

Morgan's real estate portfolio includes thousands of apartments across Western New York.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's Director of News and Public Affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.
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