Friday, October 03, 2014

Gernot Zepernick, a real estate investor from Concord, Calif., pleads guilty to bid rigging and fraud at public foreclosure auctions




Posted by CotoBlogzz
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA:  according to the Department of Justice, Gernot Sebastian Zepernick, a real estate investor from Concord, Calif., agreed to plead guilty to bid rigging and fraud at public foreclosure auctions. To date, 47 individuals have agreed to plead or have pleaded guilty, as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California.
According to court documents, beginning as early as November 2008 until about January 2011, Zepernick conspired with others not to bid against one another, and instead to designate a winning bidder to obtain selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Contra Costa County.  Zepernick was also charged with conspiring to use the mail to carry out a scheme to fraudulently acquire title to selected Contra Costa County properties sold at public auctions, to make and receive payoffs, and to divert money to co-conspirators that would have otherwise gone to mortgage holders and other beneficiaries by holding second, private auctions open only to members of the conspiracy.  The department said that the selected properties were then awarded to the conspirators who submitted the highest bids in the second, private auctions.  The private auctions often took place at or near the courthouse steps where the public auctions were held.    
The department said that the primary purpose of the conspiracies was to suppress and eliminate competition and to conceal payoffs in order to obtain selected real estate offered at Contra Costa County public foreclosure auctions at non-competitive prices.  When real estate properties are sold at these auctions, the proceeds are used to pay off the mortgage and other debt attached to the property, with remaining proceeds, if any, paid to the homeowner.  These conspirators paid and received money, according to the court documents, that otherwise would have gone to pay off the mortgage and other holders of debt secured by the properties, and, in some cases, the defaulting homeowner.
These investigations are being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office and the FBI’s San Francisco Office.  Anyone with information concerning bid rigging or fraud related to public real estate foreclosure auctions should contact the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office at 415-934-5300, or call the FBI tip line at 415-553-7400.

1 comment:

Nicq said...

That's crazy. I was just about to pay cash to buy a condo from him then my friend found out what he had done. I didn't know he could still work. Seems strange.