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Former housing chief wants charge dropped

George Moses claims he had immunity

By: Bennett Loudon//July 25, 2019

Former housing chief wants charge dropped

George Moses claims he had immunity

By: Bennett Loudon//July 25, 2019//

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George Moses

George Moses, the former chairman of the Rochester Housing Authority, is asking a federal judge to drop one of the criminal charges he’s facing because it’s based on statements he made under an immunity agreement.

Moses and former Rochester City Councilman Adam C. McFadden were charged in February with fraud and money laundering. Those carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine,

In addition, Moses was charged with lying to FBI agents on July 31, 2018.

McFadden pleaded guilty to fraud and tax evasion charges in April. He is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

McFadden was interim executive director of the Housing Authority from Oct. 14, 2014 to Dec. 20, 2014. Moses led a RHA board vote to make McFadden interim executive director.

In December 2014, McFadden resigned because of a conflict of interest due to his position as a City Council member.

In addition to being chairman of the board of commissioners of the Housing Authority until his arrest in October, Moses was a member of the board of Rochester Housing Charities (RHC) from March 2015 to the fall of 2015.

Working together, McFadden and Moses are accused of funneling $65,625 to McFadden through a fraudulent contract with Capital Connection Partners LLC, a Washington, D.C., firm that subcontracted to Caesar Development LLC, which was controlled by McFadden.

The scheme involved falsifying several documents, including minutes of Rochester Housing Charities board meetings.

According to court papers filed June 10 by Moses’ defense attorney, Frederick P. Hafetz, and argued Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Marian W. Payson, Moses claims the false statements were made under a proffer agreement with government lawyers.

“Examination of that agreement compels the conclusion that prosecution of Mr. Moses for false statements made at the proffer session violates the proffer agreement,” according to court papers.

“The proffer agreement clearly precludes the government from using the proffered statements to prosecute the profferer for a false statement charge based on those statements,” according to court papers.

In a response, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard A. Resnick wrote in a response that Hafetz was “mistaken.”

“The unambiguous language in the proffer agreement in this case permits the use of the defendant’s alleged false statements directly against the defendant,” Resnick wrote.

According to the proffer agreement, “any statements … provided by the witness may be used against the witness in a prosecution for perjury, making false statements or obstruction of justice,” government lawyers pointed out in their filing.

Another part of the proffer agreement reads: “in the event the witness knowingly provides false or misleading information … the government reserves the right to use any statements … provided pursuant to this agreement directly against the witness for any purpose deemed proper by the government.”

Moses continues to serve as executive director of North East Area Development Inc., a non-profit, neighborhood-based community development organization, where he was paid an annual salary of $86,000 in 2017, according to the agency’s federal tax return.

Moses has asked Payson for permission to travel to Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Sept. 25 to 28 for a conference related to a research project involving NEAD and partners in Canada. Payson asked for a more detailed itinerary before approving the trip, according to court papers.

Payson did approve another request to take a trip to Jamaica from Aug. 2 through 9 for a wedding anniversary celebration. She also asked for more details before approving a request from Moses to travel to Israel Sept. 9 to 18, according to court filings.

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