A California man pleaded guilty yesterday to rigging bids at public foreclosure auctions.

According to court documents filed in Sacramento, Yama Marifat was indicted for conspiring with other real estate investors to rig bids when purchasing selected properties at foreclosure auctions in San Joaquin County, California, beginning in or about April 2009 and continuing until in or about October 2009. Trial was scheduled to begin on August 17.

Real estate investors who take advantage of the foreclosure process to line their own pockets will be held accountable,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “The defendant’s guilty plea is a testament to our persistence and the strong case built by the division’s talented prosecutors, paralegals and staff, along with our partners at the FBI.”

According to the one-count indictment, Marifat and his co-conspirators…

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