A PYMNTS Company

US: Northern California real estate investors plead guilty to bid rigging

 |  July 9, 2015

Two Northern California real estate investors pleaded guilty for their role in bid-rigging conspiracies and mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced today.

Real estate investors John Shiells, of Danville, California, and Miguel De Sanz, of San Francisco, each pleaded guilty to three counts of bid rigging and three counts of mail fraud in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California in Oakland, California, today. Both were charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of California on Nov. 19, 2014.

“These defendants took turns paying others or being paid by others to not bid at foreclosure auctions, all so that the conspirators could buy properties at reduced prices,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “The defendants and their co-conspirators corrupted these auctions and deprived lenders and homeowners of auction proceeds that were rightfully theirs.”

To date, 56 individuals have pleaded guilty to criminal charges as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public foreclosure auctions in Northern California.

Full content: Patch

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.