Two California real estate investors and an auctioneer who were indicted more than two years ago for allegedly conspiring to rig bids at real estate foreclosure auctions in San Joaquin County are finally headed to trial next month, where two other investors who have submitted guilty pleas in the case are likely to be called as witnesses.

Anthony B. Joachim of Stockton pleaded guilty today to conspiring to rig bids and commit mail fraud, prosecutors said. Investor Wiley C. Chandler had already submitted a guilty plea.

Auctioneer W. Theodore Longley and investors Andrew B. Katakis and Donald M. Parker are fighting the allegations. Their trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 28.

Prosecutors said they’ve obtained 11 guilty pleas in an ongoing investigation of bid rigging and fraud at real estate foreclosure auctions in the Eastern District of California, a vast area of the state that stretches from the Oregon border in the north to the Tehachapi Mountains in the south, and from the Coast Ranges in the west to the Nevada border in the east.

Last month the Department of Justice and the FBI said an ongoing investigation into bid rigging in Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo and Contra Costa counties has netted 38 guilty pleas. Source:

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