Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Feds Pinch Two More Alabama Real Estate Operators For Roles In Alleged Foreclosure Sale Bid Rigging Ripoffs

From the U.S. Department of Justice:

  • A federal grand jury in Mobile, Ala., returned an indictment [] against two real estate investors and their company, charging them with participating in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions held in southern Alabama, the Department of Justice announced [].

  • The department said the father and son real estate investors, Robert M. Brannon of Laurel, Miss., and Jason R. Brannon of Mobile, respectively, and their Mobile-based company, J & R Properties LLC, conspired with others not to bid against one another at public real estate foreclosure auctions in southern Alabama.

  • The indictment, returned in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, charges that after a designated bidder bought a property at a public auction, which typically takes place at the county courthouse, the conspirators would generally hold a secret, second auction, at which each participant would bid the amount above the public auction price he or she was willing to pay. The highest bidder at the secret, second auction won the property.

  • The Brannons and J & R Properties were also charged with conspiring to use the U.S. mail to carry out a scheme to acquire title to rigged foreclosure properties sold at public auctions at artificially suppressed prices, to make and receive payoffs to co-conspirators, and to cause financial institutions, homeowners and others with a legal interest in rigged foreclosure properties to receive less than the competitive price for the properties.

  • Jason Brannon, Robert Brannon and J & R Properties are charged with participating in the bid-rigging and mail fraud schemes from as early as October 2004 until at least August 2007.

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