SACRAMENTO (The Record, Stockton, Calif.) - A Lodi real estate investor has admitted to rigging bids in a house-flipping scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
Wiley C. Chandler, 47, pleaded guilty to conspiring to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Joaquin County.
Federal prosecutors say Chandler worked with a group of real estate speculators to fraudulently buy properties at foreclosure auctions in order to weed out the competition.
The group acquired the properties from 2008 through 2009 at noncompetitive prices.
They would then sell those properties at a second, private auction.
“The illicit profit was divided among the conspirators in payoffs,” said a statement from the Department of Justice.
Chandler is one of 10 conspirators who have pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.
The others are Anthony B. Ghio; John R. Vanzetti; Theodore B. Hutz; Richard W. Northcutt; Yama Marifat; Gregory L. Jackson; Walter Daniel Olmstead; Robert Rose; and Kenneth A. Swanger.
Chandler faces a maximum of 40 years in prison and $2 million in fines.
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Source: The Record, Stockton, Calif.