Monday, October 1, 2012

Investor Pleads Guilty To Antitrust Charges In Connection With NJ Bid Rigging Racket At Municipal Tax Lien Auctions

From the U.S. Department of Justice (Washington, D.C.):

  • A Pennsylvania corporation pleaded guilty [] to participating in a conspiracy to rig bids for the sale of tax liens auctioned by municipalities throughout New Jersey, the Department of Justice announced.

    A felony charge was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark, against Crusader Servicing Corp., of Jenkintown, Pa. According to the felony charge, from at least as early as 1998 until September 2006, Crusader participated in a conspiracy to rig bids at auctions for the sale of municipal tax liens in New Jersey by agreeing to allocate among certain bidders which liens each would bid on. The department said that Crusader submitted bids in accordance with their agreements and purchased tax liens at collusive and non-competitive interest rates.
  • Since the conspiracy permitted the conspirators to purchase tax liens with limited competition, each conspirator was able to obtain liens which earned a higher interest rate. Property owners were therefore made to pay higher interest on their tax debts than they would have paid had their liens been purchased in open and honest competition.

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