Real estate investor Charles Rock has pleaded guilty to rigging bids in public foreclosure auctions in Northern California.
Rock, of Oakland, allegedly conspired with others between 2008 and 2011 to agree not to compete or hold second, private auctions while concealing the process from banks that held the mortgages and other beneficiaries.
He and others agreed not to compete at public foreclosure auctions in ContraCostaCounty, according to the U.S. Department of Justice in a statement Wednesday.
Rock pled guilty to one county of bid-rigging and two counts of mail fraud.
The case is part of the Antitrust divisions crackdown on bid rigging and fraud in public foreclosure auctions to recover money for defrauded banks and other financial institutions. Five real estate investors, like Rock, are among the 51 individuals who have so far agreed to plead guilty in the ongoing federal enforcement actions over the past three years.
Other guilty pleas included cases in San Francisco, San Mateo and AlamedaCounties, according to the DOJ.
Rock faces a potential maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for alleged violation of the Sherman Act and 20 years for mail fraud, as well as a significant financial penalty.