Federal Charges Thrown Out Against Developer Morgan

Saying prosecutors mishandled the evidence, a judge has thrown out the federal fraud charges against Rochester Developer Bob Morgan, his son and two of their associates. The charges are dismissed "without prejudice," meaning they could be reinstated.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says it's considering its options.

U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Wolford handed down a more than 80-page ruling this afternoon. It dismisses the 114 count indictment against Morgan, Todd Morgan, Frank Giacobbe and Michael Tremiti. They'd been accused of running a scheme to defraud banks and the federal institutions Fannie Mae and Freddi Mac. Federal prosecutors said they gave those banks false information and overstated the value of their properties to get bigger loans.

In her decision, Judge Wolford write that it was "self evident and cannot be reasonably disputed" that the prosecutors mishandled evidence in their investigation. She says it's not clear whether this was due to lack of experience or an apathetic approach to the prosecution of the case. 

The specific problem goes back to a search warrant prosecutors got in 2018 to obtain certain evidence. They failed to meet several court-ordered deadlines to finish processing that information and share it with the defense through the discovery process. There were other glitches, including failure to process three computers that had been seized.

The judge then dismissed the indictment under the speedy trial rule.

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