July 22, 2019 05:39 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) - One of Rochester's biggest developers says the federal government is unfairly preventing him from doing business while he's under federal indictment for bank and wire fraud.
Bob Morgan's legal team was in court on Monday arguing that the government has been quietly preventing him from selling properties that are not even part of the criminal case.
Morgan's attorney said in the courtroom that his client can't sell properties because the government is basically scaring away all potential buyers even on the 50-60 properties that Morgan has a stake in that are not part of the criminal investigation. Attorneys argued that Morgan can't get title insurance, so he has been unable close on any sales. Transactions, they say, were in progress before his indictment have now gone cold.
The U.S. Attorney's Office argued that the issues Morgan is facing are not because of their involvement but they did admit in court that when they've been approached by attorneys for third parties wanting assurances that one property or another would not be seized as part of the investigation, they made no such guarantees.
United States District Judge Elizabeth Wolford determined that the federal government has been "imprecise" in its conversations and correspondence with third parties about Morgan's other properties that are not currently part of the criminal investigation and urged them to be more clear. There are no pre-trial restraints on properties that are not named in the indictment.
A property in North Chili called Union Square was also at the center of discussions on Monday.
It is named in the indictment and the government is insisting any profits from its refinancing or sale must be held in escrow by the U.S. Marshalls. An attorney for the other partners on the project told the court the bank backing the loans on it won't provide any more money until it has assurances it won't be seized if Morgan is to be found guilty.
Judge Wolford did not make any final determinations on what, if anything, she could do to assist in the situation but she did urge Morgan, the federal government and attorneys for the bank and other partners to meet and try to hash out a deal.
Created: July 22, 2019 05:39 PM
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