Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another One Bites The Dust As Feds Continue Clean-Up In Probe Into Northern California Foreclosure Sale Bid Rigging Racket

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

  • A Lodi real estate investor pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento to conspiring to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions held in San Joaquin County.

  • Wiley Chandler, 47, of Lodi, pleaded guilty to conspiring with a group of real estate speculators who agreed to rig bids and commit mail fraud when purchasing selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Joaquin County, says U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

  • The goals of the conspiracies were to suppress and restrain competition, to fraudulently obtain selected real estate at noncompetitive prices and to divert money to coconspirators that would have gone to the beneficiaries, the department said in court papers, says Sharis Pozen, acting assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.


  • Public auctions are meant for the public, not for an elite group conspiring together for their own profit,” says Mr. Wagner. Specifically, Mr. Chandler pleaded guilty to bid rigging, a violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

For more, see Another guilty plea in massive Central Valley foreclosure fraud (Lodi man is tenth to plead guilty to bid rigging and fraud; ‘Public auctions are meant for the public, not for an elite group conspiring together’).

For the U.S. Department of Justice press release, see Two Financial Investors Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging at Municipal Tax Lien Auctions in New Jersey.

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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