LAUREL — Two real estate investors have pleaded guilty to bid rigging and mail fraud in a scheme to artificially lower prices of auctioned homes in Alabama.
U.S. Department of Justice officials say Robert M. Brannon, of Laurel, and his son Jason Brannon, of Mobile, Ala., conspired with others to avoid bidding against each other at public real estate auctions.
Authorities say after a bidder bought a property, the conspirators held secret second auctions where participants placed higher bids to buy the property. Mail fraud charges stem from the Brannons using the postal service to acquire titles to properties that were fraudulently purchased.
The Brannons are two of eight people involved in the scheme who have pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info