Section: BUSINESS Page: E4
Friday, September 20, 2002

SYRACUSE — A federal judge has agreed to add seven defendants, including three removed in a decision last year, to the racketeering lawsuit involving mall builder Pyramid Cos.
In a decision signed Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Norman A. Mordue finalized the list of defendants in the $100 million case filed by six minority partners of Syracuse-based Pyramid. The partners claim Pyramid officials, led by founder and chairman Robert Congel, defrauded them by moving money from one partnership to another without consulting them.

In February 2001, Mordue dismissed charges made against nine defendants but allowed the case to proceed against four others, including Congel. The judge allowed the minority partners to amend their complaints against the dismissed defendants, however.

The minority partners responded with a 15-count amended complaint seeking to bring three of the dismissed defendants back into the case and to add four new defendants. In the most recent decision, Mordue threw out five of the new counts but allowed the remaining charges to go forward.

The minority partners who filed the complaint include businessman Robert Ungerer of Loudonville.
Pyramid operates more than 20 malls and strip centers, including Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, Crossgates Commons in Albany and Aviation Mall in Queensbury.
— Jeremy Boyer