Robert ‘Bob’ Morgan pleads guilty to wire fraud conspiracy
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced Tuesday that Robert Morgan pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Evan Glaberson and Paul Parisi, who are handling the case, stated that Morgan was the manager of Morgan Ellison Heights LLC, which was the majority owner of Ellison Heights Apartments LLC.
In September 2016, Morgan, along with one or more co-conspirators, caused ESL Federal Credit Union to issue a construction loan based on inaccurate information regarding the construction contract price. Morgan saw and was aware of documents reflecting inaccurate information and agreed, along with one or more co-conspirators, for that information to be submitted to ESL to obtain a larger amount of the construction loan than what would have otherwise been supported by the actual figures.
Last week, three of Morgan’s co-defendants admitted to bank larceny. Federal prosecutors say Morgan and his co-defendants, including his son Todd, broker Frank Giacobbe and finance director Michael Tremiti falsified documents inflating the value of properties to get bigger loans from the bank.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Robert Manchak, Northeast Region.
Morgan’s Attorney Joel Cohen said it was a great day for Morgan following his plea hearing. Now they wait for a judge’s decision.
"He’s very happy, Mr. Morgan to put this behind him along with his family, and to be able to continue managing his businesses, and go on with his life," Cohen said.
He’s considered one of the biggest developers in Rochester, but when Morgan left the Federal Courthouse on Tuesday he declined to make any comments on his case. Cohen says an 11(c)(1)(C) plea was entered on Morgan’s behalf.
"The government and the defense agree what the sentence should be," Cohen said. "In this case no jail time, and no consequences that they originally sought, and the government, the judge has to either accept, or reject the terms of the parties agreed to which is an unusual, and extremely unusual circumstance in federal court."
Sentencing is scheduled for July 22 before Judge Wolford.