02-20-18 Sherman goes to the auction
Today we visit Mississippi where two brothers plead guilty to conspiring to rig bids at public foreclosure auctions for the past 5 years: a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act!
They and others involved would plan in advance who was going to be the winning bidder to obtain selected properties. Co-conspirators made and received payoffs in exchange for their agreement not to bid. All told the brothers netted about $1.5M through property purchases and payoffs during that time. Additional parties who participated are set to be brought to trial.
The brothers face a maximum of 10-years in prison and a $1M fine at sentencing. The penalty could be increased to 2x the gain derived or twice the loss suffered by the victims if either amount is greater than the $1M.
So who are the victims in this case? Since foreclosure proceeds go towards paying down outstanding mortgages first and any overages go to the property owner it would be a combination of the mortgage companies, additional lien holders, and those whose properties were foreclosed.
How would it feel to go to an auction where this was happening? Auction buyers generally keep things tight to the vest anyway but can you imagine unwittingly being an outsider in the middle of a situation like this where you throw their plans off? Awkward...
I'll be trying out a new scheduling app soon where you can just click and schedule an appointment to talk over funding for your deal. In the meantime just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set a time the old fashion way.