Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Parade Of Suspects Copping Guilty Pleas In Foreclosure Sale Bid Rigging Racket Continues As Sacramento Feds Notch Sixth Score In Ongoing Probe

In Sacramento, California, The Record reports:
  • A San Joaquin County investor pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to charges he illegally rigged bids with others at home foreclosure auctions in Stockton, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento reported. Gregory L. Jackson is the sixth defendant so far to plead guilty in the federal probe. He faces a federal prison sentence and $1 million in fines under terms of the negotiated plea deal.

  • In the scheme, the group of real estate speculators agreed not to compete with a selected bidder, who won the property at a noncompetitive price. They next held a private auction, officials said. In the private auction, each would bid the amount he or she was willing to pay above the public auction sale price. The price difference between the two auctions resulted in illegal gain, officials said. The group then divided that profit among themselves, prosecutors said. Jackson admitted to participating in the scheme between March and October 2009.

  • The other conspirators who have pleaded guilty are Anthony B. Ghio, Theodore B. Hutz, Yama Marifat, Richard W. Northcutt and John R. Vanzetti.(1)

Source: Guilty plea in home auction rigging.

Go here for other posts & links on bid rigging at foreclosure and other real estate-related auctions.

(1) Anyone with information concerning bid rigging or fraud related to real estate foreclosure auctions should contact the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office at 415-436-6660, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California at 916-554-2700 or the FBI’s Sacramento Division at 916-481-9110.

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