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CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A real estate development company with ties to Cranberry Township is now the focus of a federal investigation.
The FBI raided the company’s upstate New York headquarters this week, and KDKA’s Meghan Schiller talked to residents at the company’s properties about the elaborate scheme.
According to the 91-page affidavit, the development company Morgan Management, also known as Morgan Communities, is accused of fudging its numbers to try to get more loan money.
At a property in Cranberry Township, the four men named in the investigation are accused of conspiring to put out welcome mats and shoes in front of empty apartments to try make the apartments appear occupied.
“I haven’t heard anything,” renter Matthew Hanson said. “I would love to know what’s going on, just as like an FYI, this is what’s up.”
Renters like Hanson pay roughly $1,450 a month for a 2-bedroom at Rochester Village. All of the residents KDKA-TV talked with said they had no idea four men working for the developer allegedly conspired to inflate reported rental prices, misrepresent the number of people who lived there and the number of profitable storage units.
Investigators say it was all to make the apartment complexes appear more profitable and secure big ticket loans.
“It’s kind of shady, but I know people behind the scenes of companies do their thing, so I would love to know what’s going on, but if it doesn’t affect me directly… hey,” said Hanson.
“That is for the courts to decide. It doesn’t bother me at all,” Adam Swank, a renter at Eden Square, said.
Swank couldn’t care less, but his neighbor Nick Long remembers seeing something.
“We were the first people that actually moved in and only our vehicle was ever here, but I’m pretty sure there were shoes and floormats laying out at doors to apartments that weren’t even occupied,” Long said.
Investigators say developer also planted radios and turned them on in empty apartments. The report also said the developers asked construction workers to park in the apartment’s garage on inspection days.
No charges have been filed against the four men accused of wire fraud and bank fraud. Morgan said in a statement that the business is fully cooperating with the investigation.