FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          AT
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1996                          (202) 616-2771
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A northern Virginia man was charged 
today with participating in a criminal bid rigging scheme at
residential real estate auctions in northern Virginia, the
Department of Justice said.  He is the sixth person to be charged
in the Department's ongoing antitrust investigation into
foreclosure auction bid rigging in northern Virginia.

     The Department's Antitrust Division charged that G. Frank
Stinnett, of Vienna, conspired with a group of real estate
speculators who agreed not to bid competitively against each
other at certain real estate foreclosure auctions in northern
Virginia.  Their agreement allowed them to buy real estate for
low, noncompetitive prices.

     Stinnett participated in the conspiracy from February 1987
until April 1993, the Department charged.  After the
conspirators' designated bidder bought a property at a public
auction, they would meet secretly to hold a second auction where
each conspirator bid the amount, or "premium," above the public
auction price he or she was willing to pay.  The conspirator who
bid the highest premium won the property.  That premium amount
was the group's illicit profit, and it was divided among the
conspirators in payoffs made later.

     The charge against Stinnett follows guilty pleas entered
into on the same charge last year by Alexander C. Giap of McLean,
Leo E. Gulley of Oakton, and Donald M. Kotowicz of Sterling. 
Giap, who also pleaded guilty to wire fraud and bank fraud
charges, is currently serving a five-year prison term.  Gulley
and Kotowicz served seven-month terms in prison and were released
in July.  As a result of the Department's previous antitrust
investigation of real estate auction bid rigging in Washington,
D.C., 12 individuals and one corporation were convicted.
     Joel I. Klein, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge
of the Antitrust Division, said the northern Virginia
investigation, which is being conducted by the Division's
Litigation I Section with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal
Investigation Division, is continuing.  Stinnett has pledged to
cooperate with investigators, Klein said.

     The maximum penalty for an individual convicted of a Sherman
Act violation committed after November 16, 1990, is three years
in jail and a fine of the greater of $350,000, twice the
pecuniary gain the individual derived from the crime, or twice
the pecuniary loss suffered by the victims of the crime.