On Friday, October 20, 2017, it was announced that a federal grand jury had returned an indictment against a California real estate investor. Yama Marifat has been charged with conspiring with other real estate investors to rig bids when buying properties at foreclosure auctions in San Joaquin County, California. It is believed that the behavior started in or around April of 2009 and continued until October 2009.
The indictment claims that Marifat and his co-conspirators engaged in a conspiracy by agreeing not to bid against one another on certain properties. They selected a single bidder at the public auction. Then, they allegedly held a second, private auction and delivered payoffs to one another.
It should be known that the defendant remains innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If the defendant is convicted, he will face a maximum sentence of ten years in prison along with a one million dollar fine. Additional details can be found here.