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Guilty Plea Entered in Foreclosure Auction Fraud

APR 17, 2013 12:17pm ET
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A real estate investor has entered a guilty plea related to his role in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, making him the 30th individual to plead guilty or agree to as a result of antitrust investigations into the matter.

Felony charges were filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco against Rezaian, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to court documents, Rezaian conspired with others—including as Gilbert Chung, who earlier this year also entered a guilty plea—not to bid against one another but instead to designate a winning bidder to obtain selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

Rezaian was also charged with conspiring to use the mail to carry out schemes to fraudulently acquire title to selected properties sold at public auctions, to make and receive payoffs and to divert to co-conspirators money that would have otherwise gone to mortgage holders and others.

The Department of Justice found Rezaian conspired with others to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Francisco and San Mateo counties beginning as early as July 2008 and continuing until about January 2011.

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