California Real Estate Fraud Report

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18
Aug

Investor Pleads Guilty to Rigging Bids at Foreclosure Auctions

Walter Daniel Olmstead, 39, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to rig bids at an auction in San Joaquin County and mail fraud. So far, seven other involved in the conspiracy have entered guilty please: Anthony Ghio, John Vanzetti, Theodore Hutz, Richard Northcutt, Yama Marifat and Gregory Jackson.

Olmstead was a real estate investor who apparently conspired with others to make illicit profits at the auctions. The group would agree which person was to make the bid, while the others would refrain from bidding. After winning the bid, the property would be sold to whoever was willing to pay the most from the property. The difference would be divided among the conspirators then.

The scheme attracted attention not only from the Attorney General’s office but their Anti-Trust Division. U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner prosecuted the case.

Olmstead could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the bid rigging and 30 years plus a $1 million fine for the mail fraud charge.

Read the original article in the Modesto Bee.

 

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