Feds win 38th guilty plea in bid rigging of California real estate auctions

The Department of Justice says it and the FBI continue to investigate bid rigging and fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in four California counties — even as prosecutors announced their 38th guilty plea.

Chuokee “Joseph” Bo of Pleasanton, Calif., has agreed to plead guilty for his role in conspiring with others not to bid against one another at real estate foreclosure auctions in Alameda County. Prosecutors said the conspirators instead designated a winning bidder to obtain selected properties that were later auctioned off to the highest bidder in private auctions that often took place near the courthouse steps where the rigged public auctions were held.

The Department of Justice and the FBI are conducting a joint investigation into bid rigging in Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo and Contra Costa counties that is ongoing.

In the last three years, the Department of Justice says it’s filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants, including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. Source: fbi.gov