Saturday
March
28
2015
12:49 am
Weather

  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 
Investor pleads guilty of bid rigging at foreclosure auctions
November 02, 2012, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal


A real estate investor pleaded guilty yesterday to bid rigging at public foreclosure auctions in San Mateo and San Francisco counties over a two-year span, according to the Department of Justice.

Norman Montalvo, of Concord, conspired with others at the auctions, including the one held outside the Redwood City courthouse, to designate a winning bidder for selected properties rather than compete against each other, according to court documents.

Those involved kept the wining price low which, in turn, federal prosecutors say, damaged the real estate market and defrauded those expecting a level playing field.

The investors "illegally restrained competition ... by falsely creating the appearance of unfettered bidding while they were secretly colluding to suppress prices,” said Scott D. Hammond, deputy assistant attorney general of the antitrust division, in an announcement of Montalvo’s plea.

Montalvo was also charged with conspiring to use the mail to carry out the scheme, make and receive payoffs and divert co-conspirators money that would have otherwise gone to mortgage holders and others.

When property is auctioned, the proceeds pay off the mortgage and debt with any remaining money going to the homeowner. Squelching competitive bids limits how much money is available for both.

Montalvo is accused of committing bid rigging and mail fraud in San Mateo and San Francisco counties as early as June 2008 until approximately September 2010. He is the 26th person to plead guilty or agree to plead guilty as part of the DOJ’s ongoing antitrust investigation at public real estate auctions in Northern California, including those in San Mateo County.

Montalvo’s plea is proof the effort is working, said Joel Moss, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Francisco division.

"Criminals who take advantage of the real estate auction process will be brought to justice,” he said in a prepared statement.

Montalvo faces up to a decade in federal prison and $1 million fine for violating the antitrust law known as the Sherman Act and up to 30 years and a similar fine for each count of conspiring to commit mail fraud. The government can also go after the proceeds made by the fraud.


Anyone with information about bid rigging or fraud related to public real estate foreclosure auctions should contact the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office at (415) 436-6660 or visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm or call the FBI tip line at (415) 553-7400.


Michelle Durand can be reached by email: michelle@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.

 

 

Tags: montalvo, estate, auctions, fraud, antitrust,


Other stories from today:

 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
Return To Archives
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
What do you think of the pending closure of Tpumps in downtown San Mateo?

Surprised, it was super popular
Makes sense, the shop was too small
Hope they find their way back to San Mateo soon
There are plenty of other boba tea places
Glad, boba drinks make the sidewalks a sticky mess

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jury: Silicon Valley firm didn't discriminate
SAN FRANCISCO — A jury decided Friday that a prestigious venture capital firm did not discrimi..
Senate's Harry Reid announces he won't seek re-election
WASHINGTON — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, the wily Nevadan who dominated the Senate for a ..
Israel to stop withholding Palestinian tax revenue
JERUSALEM — Israel said Friday that it will transfer Palestinian tax revenues it has been withhold..
Magnitude-4.2 quake shakes central California; no damage
COALINGA — A small earthquake jolted an area of central California, but there were no reports of d..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2015 San Mateo Daily Journal
South San Francisco newspaper