Investors Plead Guilty to Rigging Foreclosure Auctions

Federal prosecutors charged Lydia Fong and Matthew Worthing, both of San Francisco, with rigging foreclosure auctions by agreeing not to bid against one another. They joined 20 other individuals throughout four Bay Area counties who have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty in similar bid rigging and public auction fraud cases.

The DOJ’s antitrust division has an ongoing investigation into bid rigging and fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in the Bay Area. Including Fong and Worthing, a total of 22 people have settled cases in San Mateo, San Francisco, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

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 or call the FBI tip line at (415) 553-7400.

Lydia Fong at San Francisco foreclosure auction on March 6, 2012

Links: San Mateo Daily Journal Article    7th Space Interactive Article

Judge Fines Wells Fargo $3.1 Million for Mishandling One Mortgage

Huffington Post reports: “In a scathing opinion issued last week, Elizabeth Magner, a federal bankruptcy judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana, characterized as “highly reprehensible” Wells Fargo’s behavior over more than five years of litigation with a single homeowner and ordered the bank to pay the New Orleans man a whopping $3.1 million in punitive damages, one of the biggest fines ever for mortgage servicing misconduct.”

Link: Full Article