Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mobile-Area Real Estate Operator Gets 12 Months Prison Time Ordered To Cough Up $340K+ In Restitution For Role In Bid-Rigging Racket At Local Foreclosure Auctions

From the U.S. Department of Justice (Washington, D.C.):
  • An Alabama real estate investor was sentenced on Monday, April 10, 2017, to serve 12 months and a day in prison for his role in a bid-rigging conspiracy and a fraud scheme related to public real estate foreclosure auctions in Mobile, Alabama, the Department of Justice announced.

    Oscar Celso Anez pleaded guilty to bid rigging and conspiracy to commit mail fraud in the Southern District of Alabama on June 14, 2016. In addition to a term of imprisonment, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Callie V.S. Granade also ordered Anez to pay $343,561 in restitution. 

    Between March 2002 and November 2010, Anez conspired with others not to compete for selected foreclosure properties at public auctions in order to obtain the properties at artificially suppressed auction prices.  In addition, Anez and his co-conspirators held secret, second auctions for rigged foreclosure properties. The winner of the second auction obtained title to the property and made payoffs to co-conspirators. The money that the conspirators paid to one another would have gone to mortgage holders, homeowners and others with a legal interest in the property. 

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