InvestmentsMortgageReal Estate

New York man admits to playing key role in massive multifamily real estate scandal

Scam defrauded M&T Bank, Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, others

A New York man has admitted to taking part in a massive multifamily real estate scandal that harkens back to some of the darkest parts of the housing crisis, including fake residents, fake incomes, and inflated mortgages.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, Patrick Ogiony pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

The charges stem from an investigation that the Wall Street Journal previously called “one of the biggest mortgage-fraud probes since the financial crisis.”

According to the U.S Attorney’s Office, Ogiony conspired with others to defraud financial institutions including Evans Bank, UBS Securities, M&T Bank, Arbor Commercial Mortgage, SteepRock Capital, and Berkadia Commercial Mortgage by providing false information about apartment communities in several states that were owned by Morgan Management.

Ogiony is a former employee of Aurora Capital Advisors, a mortgage brokerage company owned and operated by Frank Giacobbe, who is also charged in the matter.

Court documents show that Ogiony conspired with Giacobbe, Kevin Morgan, Todd Morgan, and others, to broker mortgages on behalf of Morgan Management, a real estate management company that managed over 100 multifamily properties

Kevin Morgan was employed as a vice president at Morgan Management, while Todd Morgan was employed as a project manager.

In pleading guilty, Ogiony admitted to providing false information to financial institutions and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac overstating the incomes of properties owned by Morgan Management or certain principals of Morgan Management.

Specifically, Ogiony admitted to using various means to mislead lenders about the properties’ occupancy, including providing false rent rolls to lenders and appraisers on a variety of dates, overstating either the number of renters in a property, the rent paid by occupants; providing or conspiring to provide false and inflated income statements for the properties; and working with others to deceive inspectors into believing that unoccupied apartments were actually occupied.

By providing that false information, Ogiony and others induced the financial institutions to issue loans that were either for larger amounts than the financial institutions would have authorized had they been provided with truthful information or that the financial institutions would not have issued at all had they been provided with truthful information.

In one instance, Ogiony and others provided false information to Berkadia Commercial Mortgage in connection with The Rochester Village Apartments at Park Place, a multifamily apartment complex owned by Morgan Management principals.

According to court documents, that information included falsely inflated income from storage unit rentals, false reports of rental income, and falsely reporting apartment units as occupied before certificates of occupancy were obtained for those units.

In all, Oginony admitted to providing false information about the following properties:

  • The Preserve at Autumn Ridge, Watertown, NY
  • The Eden Square Apartments, Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
  • The Rochester Village Apartments at Park Place, Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
  • The Reserve at Southpointe, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
  • 7100 South Shore Drive Apartments, Chicago, Illinois
  • The Avon Commons Apartments, Avon, NY
  • The Morgan Bay Apartments, Houston, Texas
  • Brookwood on the Green, Syracuse, NY
  • The Creek Hill Apartments, Rochester, NY
  • Hickory Hollow, Rochester, NY
  • The Knollwood Manor Apartments, Rochester, NY
  • The Links at Centerpointe, Canandaigua, NY
  • The Nineteen North Apartments, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • The Overlook at Golden Hills, Lexington, South Carolina
  • The Penbrooke Meadows Apartments, Rochester, NY
  • The Trails of North Hills Apartments, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • The Rivers Pointe Apartments, Syracuse, NY
  • The Union Square Apartments, Rochester, NY
  • The View at MacKenzi, York, Pennsylvania
  • The Villas of Victor, Rochester, NY

Ogiony will be sentenced at a later date and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Kevin Morgan was previously convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and is awaiting sentencing. Charges remain pending against Giacobbe and Todd Morgan.

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