California real estate investors John Michael Galloway and Nicholas Diaz have each pleaded guilty to one count of bid rigging in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland today.
According to court documents, between June 2008 and January 2011, the two men agreed and conspired with others not to bid against one another, instead setting up a private bidding system. The purpose of that was to suppress competition and to acquire properties at non-competitive prices.
Thus far, 59 persons have either pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty in bid rigging at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.
These investigations are being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office and the FBI’s San Francisco Office, in connection with the president’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.