Georgia Real Estate Investor Convicted of Bid Rigging and Bank Fraud at Public Foreclosure Auctions
A federal jury convicted a real estate investor of bid rigging and bank fraud related to public foreclosure auctions held in Georgia, the Department of Justice announced today.
Douglas L. Purdy was convicted today following a two-week trial before the Honorable Richard W. Story in Gainesville, Georgia. The jury convicted Purdy on one count of bid rigging and two counts of bank fraud for participating in the charged conspiracy and scheme at Forsyth County, Georgia, foreclosure auctions from 2008 to 2011.
The evidence at trial showed that Purdy and his co-conspirators agreed not to compete for real estate at foreclosure auctions in Forsyth County and defrauded lender banks and homeowners. Among other methods, the conspirators held secret “second auctions” of properties they had obtained through rigged bids, dividing among themselves the auction proceeds that should have gone to pay off debts against the properties and, in some cases, to homeowners.
A federal grand jury in the Northern District of Georgia returned an indictment against Purdy on Feb. 3, 2016. Including Purdy’s conviction, 23 real estate investors have either pleaded guilty or been convicted after trial as a result of the Department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging at public foreclosure auctions in the Atlanta area.
The Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal II Section and the FBI’s Atlanta Division conducted the investigation, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Georgia. Anyone with information concerning bid rigging or fraud related to real estate foreclosure auctions should contact the Washington Criminal II Section of the Antitrust Division at 202-598-4000 or call the FBI tip line at 415-553-7400.