Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia on Thursday announced that business-loan broker Matthew McManus of Glenside and his business partner, Andrew Bogdanoff, of Scottsdale, Ariz., were indicted on charges of fraud, conspiracy, and money-laundering, alleging that the pair "defrauded more than 800 victims out of more than $10 million," federal authorities said.
Bogdanoff, 65, is founder and chairman of Philadelphia-based Remington Capital Group and related companies; McManus, 43, was his partner in the business until leaving in 2008. The charges were announced in a statement from U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger, FBI special-agent-in-charge George Venizelos, and IRS acting special-agent-in-charge Akeia Conner.
McManus' lawyer, Lisa Mathewson, said: "The charges appear to relate to Mr. McManus' relationship with a former business associate in Arizona. They do not reflect on Mr. McManus's own Philadelphia-based business. … He intends to fight them." Bogdanoff's lawyer did not immediately return calls.
Also charged with fraud were brokers Shayne Fowler, 27, of Scottsdale; Joel Nathanson, 25, of San Diego; Frank Vogel, 47, of Rochester Hills, Mich.; and Aaron Bogdanoff, 24, of Scottsdale. The Bogdanoffs also face tax-fraud charges, and McManus is charged with lying to investigators.
According to the indictment, between 2005 and 2011, Bogdanoff, McManus, and their brokers "fraudulently induced hundreds of people to pay Remington fees in excess of $10,000 apiece, based on false representations that Remington had lenders and/or investors ready to provide financing for the victims' projects."
Victims included a New Jersey developer trying to raise $27.5 million for a Camden project and a Pennsylvania developer trying to raise $22 million for a solar-electric farm, the indictment says. In many cases, according to the indictment, Remington never had funding lined up, but "fraudulently" took fees anyway.
In recent years, McManus has taken credit for raising money for a string of Philadelphia projects through another firm he controlled, NAI Bluestone Real Estate Capital, including Bart Blatstein's recent Erbe Apartments complex. Lenders included Greystone Capital, Beneficial Bank, and Firstrust Bank, among others.
Blatstein declined to comment.
"We just learned about it today. We can't comment on it," said Spencer Yablon, who heads the Philadelphia-area office of Marcus & Millichap, where McManus has worked recently as a mortgage originator.
Contact Joseph N. DiStefano at 215-854-5194 or JoeD@phillynews.com.