California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Real Estate Fraud in Auctions Yields 8 Guilty Pleas

Eight men in the Bay Area who were charged in a conspiracy on the auction of real estate property in Contra Costa and Alameda counties have now agreed to plead guilty to rigging bids and mail fraud.

The defendants are Thomas Franciose, 64, of San Francisco; William Freeborn, 44, of Alamo; Robert Kramer, 63, of Oakland; Thomas Legault, 50, of Clayton; David Margen, 53, of Berkeley; Brian McKinzie, 38, of Hayward; Jaime Wong, 42, of Dublin; and Jorge Wong, 36, of San Leandro.

The prosecution was handled by the Department of Justice, Anti-Trust Division in San Francisco.  Violating the Sherman Antitrust Act carries stiff penalties: up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million. The financial penalty can also be calculated as twice the profit realized from the crime or two times the victim’s loss.  Penalties for committing mail fraud are equally as harsh.

Bid-rigging in auctions is one of the newer forms of real estate fraud.

Read the original article in the Mercury News, the Daily Californian and LoanSafe.

© Copyright 2007-2017 Monique Bryher

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The information and notices contained on The California Real Estate Fraud Report are intended to summarize recent developments in real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, appraisal fraud, loan modification scams, loan modification fraud and other real estate related crimes occurring in Los Angeles and California. The posts on this site are presented as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Much of the information on this site concerns allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime. Readers who have particular questions about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud matters or who believe they require legal counsel should seek the advice of an attorney.

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