December 21, 2018 09:40 PM
A multi-million dollar fraud case now appears to be pitting a nephew against his uncle, and the uncle is one of the biggest property owners in Rochester.
The nephew is Kevin Morgan, vice president of Morgan Communities. He was charged with multiple counts of fraud.
The uncle is Bob Morgan, head of Morgan Communities and one of the biggest property owners in Monroe County.
Kevin Morgan walked into federal court in downtown Rochester on Friday and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. He admitted he lied to banks to get bigger loans on certain Morgan Communities' properties in Avon, Syracuse and Buffalo.
But in court Morgan said, "I went to work for my uncle [Bob Morgan]. At his direction we applied for loans for portions of properties. We did so using false, inflated income numbers and rent rolls."
News10NBC gave Kevin Morgan an opportunity to talk after his guilty plea.
News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "Want to say anything at all Kevin?"
Kevin Morgan, guilty of bank fraud conspiracy: "Sorry, no comment."
The plea deal says Kevin Morgan is facing a maximum of five years in prison. But if he cooperates with the U.S. attorney and FBI, and cooperation is part of the deal, he can get that maximum sentence reduced to two and a half years.
Patrick Brown is Kevin Morgan's lawyer.
"He's going to cooperate in any way the government asks him to cooperate, and if they ask him to cooperate in that way, he will," Brown said.
"In that way" means against his uncle, Bob Morgan.
Morgan owns Morgan Communities which is one of biggest property developers and owners in Rochester.
He's building the apartment you can see driving the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Bridge and was part of the original Parcel 5 performing arts center project.
Morgan is not charged with a crime but the FBI raided his office in May, and his lawyer, John Speranza, was in court for the plea.
Brean: "Your client's name came up in the plea."
John Speranza, Bob Morgan's attorney: "It did. That is of no consequence. It's really meaningless. This is this particular defendant telling his particular story, Berkeley. Simple as that."
Brean: "Kevin Morgan says he did this at the direction of Bob Morgan."
Speranza: "That's what Kevin Morgan says. You hit the nail on the head."
Brean: "And what is your comment or Bob Morgan's comment to that?"
Speranza: "Our comment is that is Kevin Morgan's statement his day in court. Our client maintains his innocence."
Kevin Morgan's lawyer said Morgan didn't pocket any loan money and the loans are being paid off. Kevin Morgan will be back in court in March to see how his cooperation is going.
Updated: December 21, 2018 09:40 PM
Created: December 21, 2018 06:46 PM
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