BUFFALO, NY - Four men are now accused of running a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme, potentially putting investors at risk. And, two of those men now facing charges are from Western New York.
Prosecutors say Frank Giacobbe of East Amherst and Patrick Ogiony of Buffalo, both of Aurora Capital Advisors and two other men inflated so called "rent rolls" -- that's information about how many tenants live in a property and how much they pay in rent.
Giacobbe and Ogiony were arraigned Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Buffalo, pleaded not guilty and were released on bond. This a very complex case dealing with real estate.
The U.S. Attorneys Office says the four men gave this information to mortgage lenders, to get loans for residential apartment complexes in amounts higher than they normally would be, so that the realtors could pocket cash for themselves.
"One of our goals in terms of sentencing is to make victims whole," said U.S. Attorney Patrick Kennedy Jr., "and if there are victims in this case, in terms of investors who have lost money then we will as part of any disposition in this case seek full restitution."
The indictment says the defendants purchased properties such as The Amherst Gardens Apartments and Morgan Ellicott Apartments in Buffalo. Prosecutors say that tenants don't have anything to worry about.
Prosecutors say the scheme occurred from 2011 to 2017.
Authorities including the FBI would not say what led them to the investigation.