Real estate investor pleads guilty to bid rigging - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Real estate investor pleads guilty to bid rigging

Photo Credit: Dept. of Justice Photo Credit: Dept. of Justice
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDAM) -

This is a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

A Georgia real estate investor pleaded guilty for his role in bid-rigging and bank fraud conspiracies in connection with public real estate foreclosure auctions in Georgia, the Justice Department announced. 

Otto Gogolin admitted that he agreed not to bid against other real estate investors at certain public real estate foreclosure auctions in an effort to subvert the competitive process.  Additionally, according to court documents, Gogolin and his co-conspirators defrauded banks that owned the mortgage notes.  Gogolin admitted to participating in the conspiracy in Forsyth County, Georgia, from July 2008 to December 2011. 

According to court documents filed in this case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the conspirators artificially suppressed the prices of properties sold at certain public real estate foreclosure auctions by agreeing not to outbid one another and then made and received payoffs to each other.  Among other methods, the conspirators allegedly held secret “second auctions” of properties they had obtained through rigged bids and then divided the auction proceeds that otherwise would have gone to pay off the mortgage and other secured debt holders and, in some cases, to the previous owner of the foreclosed home.

Including the charges filed against Gogolin, 23 defendants have been charged in connection with the department’s ongoing investigation into bid rigging and fraudulent schemes involving real estate foreclosure auctions in the Atlanta area, 21 of whom have either pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty.  In addition to the cases filed in Georgia, the Antitrust Division has recently filed similar cases in Alabama, North Carolina and California.  More than 100 defendants in total have been indicted or have pleaded guilty for rigging foreclosure auctions and lining their own pockets at the expense of banks and homeowners going through foreclosures.

These charges have been filed as a result of the ongoing investigation being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal II Section, the FBI’s Atlanta Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Georgia, in connection with the president’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.  The president established the task force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.  With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud.  Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants. 

For more information about the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.  Anyone with information concerning bid rigging or fraud related to public real estate foreclosure auctions should contact the Washington Criminal II Section of the Antitrust Division at 202-598-4000, call the Antitrust Division’s Citizen Complaint Center at 888-647-3258, or visit http://www.justice.gov/atr/report-violations.

Copyright WDAM 2016. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Mississippi police departments looking for qualified applicants

    Mississippi police departments looking for qualified applicants

    Monday, November 20 2017 9:38 PM EST2017-11-21 02:38:48 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM

    A couple Mississippi police departments are searching for qualified applicants to join their team. The Hattiesburg and Biloxi police departments have encouraged qualified people to apply for positions within the departments. HPD has started an "Our story, your opportunity" Facebook video campaign to recruit potential new law enforcement officers.   HPD Recruitment | Our Story. Your Opportunity If you are interested in joining the Hattiesburg Polic...

    More >>

    A couple Mississippi police departments are searching for qualified applicants to join their team. The Hattiesburg and Biloxi police departments have encouraged qualified people to apply for positions within the departments. HPD has started an "Our story, your opportunity" Facebook video campaign to recruit potential new law enforcement officers.   HPD Recruitment | Our Story. Your Opportunity If you are interested in joining the Hattiesburg Polic...

    More >>
  • Petal School District recognized by Forrest County Board of Supervisors

    Petal School District recognized by Forrest County Board of Supervisors

    Monday, November 20 2017 8:43 PM EST2017-11-21 01:43:42 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM
    The Board of Supervisors recognized the Petal School District during Monday's meeting. Board President David Hogan read a proclamation honoring them as the number one district in the state. The school was at the top in the rankings released by the Mississippi Department of Education in October. The school district was one of only fifteen districts to receive the "A" grade rating. "We're very excited about our ranking as far as being the number one district...More >>
    The Board of Supervisors recognized the Petal School District during Monday's meeting. Board President David Hogan read a proclamation honoring them as the number one district in the state. The school was at the top in the rankings released by the Mississippi Department of Education in October. The school district was one of only fifteen districts to receive the "A" grade rating. "We're very excited about our ranking as far as being the number one district...More >>
  • Bridge on North 12th Street to be replaced

    Bridge on North 12th Street to be replaced

    Monday, November 20 2017 8:34 PM EST2017-11-21 01:34:06 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM
    The Forrest County Board of Supervisors considered bids to replace a bridge during their Monday meeting.  Bids were taken into consideration to replace a bridge near Hattiesburg High School on North 12th Avenue near Conti Street. A third-party inspection was made on the bridge just south of the high school and it was determined that it needed to be replaced due to having wood pilings for support. According to the board attorney, the bid was awarded to Mago Inc. const...More >>
    The Forrest County Board of Supervisors considered bids to replace a bridge during their Monday meeting.  Bids were taken into consideration to replace a bridge near Hattiesburg High School on North 12th Avenue near Conti Street. A third-party inspection was made on the bridge just south of the high school and it was determined that it needed to be replaced due to having wood pilings for support. According to the board attorney, the bid was awarded to Mago Inc. const...More >>
Powered by Frankly