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Judge dismisses federal charges against developer Morgan, others


A federal judge has dismissed fraud charges against one of Rochester’s most prominent developers along with three others.

U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Wolford on Thursday dismissed the indictment against Bob Morgan, his son Todd Morgan, as well as Frank Giacobbe and Michael Tremiti.

The judge said in an 83-page ruling that federal prosecutors mishandled discovery in the case, although she said that the government’s mistakes, while negligent, do not constitute willful misconduct.

Wolford also concluded that that the defendants' constitutional rights to a speedy trial have not been violated. She dismissed the indictment without prejudice, meaning that prosecutors could seek a new indictment.

A statement from U.S. Attorney James Kennedy said that charges may be re-filed. He said they are currently reviewing the decision and considering their options.

Morgan and his three associates were accused in what prosecutors alleged was a half-billion dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

A lawyer for Todd Morgan, David Rothenberg, said on Thursday that they are pleased with the dismissal.

Previously, three other individuals had pleaded guilty in the fraud case.

Last month, in a civil case, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission agreed to a settlement with Bob Morgan, which did not seek any penalties against the developer. The SEC noted he repaid $66 million to investors.

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY. He can be reached at [email protected].