Sunday, December 18, 2011

Antitrust Feds Bag Five More Suspects In Ongoing Probe Throughout Northern California Into Foreclosure Sale Bid Rigging Rackets

In Sacramento, California, the Central Valley Business Times reports:

  • Four real estate investors and one auctioneer or “crier” have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Sacramento for their alleged participation in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions held in San Joaquin County.

  • The indictment, which was returned on Dec. 7 and unsealed Tuesday, charges Wiley Chandler, 47, of Lodi; Andrew Katakis, 47, of Danville; Donald Parker, 48, of Valley Springs; Anthony Joachim, 44, of Stockton; and Theodore Longley, 62, of Roseville, with conspiring with other unnamed co-conspirators to rig bids and commit mail fraud when purchasing selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions. The indictment also charges Mr. Longley, the crier, with aiding and abetting the conspirators.

  • According to the indictment, Messrs. Chandler, Katakis, Parker, Joachim, Longley, and co‑conspirators agreed to suppress and restrain competition by rigging bids to obtain selected properties offered at public auctions in San Joaquin County. The conspirators also devised a scheme to fraudulently acquire title to selected properties sold at the public auctions and to divert money to co-conspirators that would have gone to the beneficiaries, the government says.

For more, see Five indicted for bid rigging and fraud at Central Valley foreclosure auctions (14 now charged in the continuing investigation; ‘The indictment … alleges … conspiracy, deceit, and heavy-handed tactics to take advantage of a depressed housing market’).

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

Go here for links to more from the U.S. Justice Department on bid-rigging prosecutions.

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