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From Antitrust Law Daily, November 28, 2018

Two more Mississippi real estate investors plead guilty to rigging bids

By Jeffrey May, J.D.

A total of nine real estate investors have now entered guilty pleas in the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s investigation into a long-running conspiracy to rig bids at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Mississippi. Yesterday, Christopher Vaughan and Jon Gregg Goodhart Jr. pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy, the Antitrust Division has announced (U.S. v. Vaughan, Case No. 1:18-cr-00162-LG-RHW; U.S. v. Goodhart, Case No. 1:18-cr-00164-LG-RHW).

Separate felony charges were filed against Vaughan on November 9 and Goodhart on November 19 in the federal district court in Gulfport, Mississippi. According to the one-count felony charge against Vaughan, he participated in the conspiracy from June 2011 until February 2017. Goodhart participated in the conspiracy from as early as August 2009 until December 2014, according to the charge against him.

The government acknowledged the assistance of these defendants in its probe. The first two charges publicly disclosed in the investigation were announced in February. The remainder of the charges followed in April and June.

While the defendants’ plea agreements do not state specific sentencing terms, both individuals will likely face prison terms and fines. The sentences are at the discretion of the court. Sentencing for both defendants is set for February 21, 2019.

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