A Danville man who was indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2011 with rigging bids at real estate foreclosure auctions and mail fraud faces new charges having to do with evidence tampering.
Andrew Katakis of Danville is the recipient of a superceding indictment charging him with obstruction of justice in the federal investigation. He is now accused of convincing his co-defendants Donald Parker, Anthony Joachim and Theodore Longley to install and run software to overwrite deleted documents stored on their computers (spoliation).
Note: when computer users delete a file, it is not actually deleted, but the space in which it is located is flagged by the system as available for a new file to be written (unallocated space). The purpose of the software is to locate unallocated space and overwrite it one or more times with new data.
“Obstruction of a grand jury investigation is a crime the Antitrust Division takes seriously,” says William Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. “We will prosecute those who subvert the competitive process, as well as those who attempt to conceal their illegal actions by destroying evidence.”
“The new charge arises out of a long-running investigation that has already resulted in guilty pleas by numerous other defendants who participated in the scheme charged in this case,” says U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.
Ten defendants have already pleaded guilty in this conspiracy: Anthony B. Ghio, John R. Vanzetti, Theodore B. Hutz, Richard W. Northcutt, Yama Marifat, Gregory L. Jackson, Walter Daniel Olmstead, Robert Rose, Kenneth Swanger and Wiley Chandler.
The current investigation is being conducted jointly by the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, the FBI’s Sacramento Division, and the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.
Read the original article in the Central Valley Business Times. There are also earlier articles about this auction bid-rigging and prosecution in the California Real Estate Fraud Report.