Five real estate investors have been sentenced for conspiracy to rig bids in a public foreclosure auction in North California.
The US Department of Justice says that between 2008 and January 2011, the defendants and other bidders at the auctions conspired not to bid against one another for selected properties, instead designating a winning bidder for the property at the auction and negotiated payoffs among themselves in return for not competing with one another.
Its Antitrust Division has been running an investigation into rigging f public foreclosure auctions at several counties in the state.
“As the sentences imposed show, bid rigging does not pay,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim for the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “In addition to facing prison time, defendants can expect to pay substantial criminal fines and restitution for their ill-gotten gains.”
The sentences imposed
Joseph Giraudo, Kevin Cullinane, Raymond Grinsell, Daniel Rosenbledt, and Mohammed Rezaian were charged with and convicted of bid rigging at real estate foreclosure auctions in San Mateo County, California. Giraudo, Grinsell, Rosenbledt, and Rezaian were also convicted of bid rigging in San Francisco County.
The toughest sentence was 15 months jail for Giraudo plus 3 months supervision on release and a $2 million fine; he will also have to pay retribution which will be decided later.
All will spend time in either prison or a halfway house or residential re-entry center; and pay substantial fines and retributions.
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