A federal jury returned guilty verdicts against three men in a Northern California antitrust case. Federal prosecutors charged the men with rigging bids on foreclosed properties in Alameda and Costa Contra counties. According to authorities, the men purchased hundreds of foreclosed properties as part of the conspiracy.
Prior to county property auctions, the men conspired to select the auction winner. The men also paid other bidders not to compete against them. Following the county auction, the conspirators would hold a second auction among themselves to determine who eventually got the properties.
One of the convicted men is one of the largest landlords in the City of Oakland. Tenants claim that after he acquired their rental properties, he unfairly raised rents and evicted tenants, including elderly renters. The case stems from a larger investigation that has already seen nearly six dozen convictions.
The men targeted county property auctions held between 2008 and 2011. Prosecutors charged the men with two counts of bid rigging and six counts of mail fraud. They face a sentence of 10 years on each of the bid rigging charges, 20 years on each mail fraud charge. They also face fines of the greater of $1M or twice the gain/loss on each bid rigging offense and a $1M fine for each mail fraud offense. Prosecutors are also seeking forfeiture of the properties purchased in the scheme.
California antitrust lawyer
If you’re facing antitrust charges as the result of an alleged violation of the Sherman Act, you need the assistance of an experienced antitrust lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively, and takes cases in both federal and state courts.
Mr. Helfend works aggressively to defend his clients. The most effective defense against federal charges comes from attorneys who have significant experience in defending against federal prosecutions. Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney, and don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County antitrust case.
Photo Credit: Kevin Spencer, via FreeImages.com