Man in violation of privacy law

Breaking news and expert analysis on legal and compliance issues

[Back To Home][Back To Archives]

From Antitrust Law Daily, September 20, 2017

Two California real estate investors plead guilty to bid rigging

By Jeffrey May, J.D.

As a January 2018 trial date looms for five real estate investors who were indicted in 2014 for conspiring to rig bids at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, two of the defendants have now pleaded guilty. Today, the Department of Justice announced that Joseph J. Giraudo pleaded guilty to two counts of bid rigging, and Kevin B. Cullinane pleaded guilty to one count of bid rigging. Further, change of plea hearings have been scheduled for the three remaining defendants—Raymond A. Grinsell, James F. Appendrodt, and Abraham S. Farag (U.S. v. Giraudo, Criminal No. 3:14-cr-00534-WHO).

All five were charged with participating in schemes impacting foreclosure auctions in California's San Mateo County, and three of the five allegedly engaged in bid rigging and fraud related to San Francisco County auctions. Giraudo was among those individuals alleged to have participated in conspiracies in both San Mateo and San Francisco counties, and Cullinane participated in the conspiracy in San Mateo County. The alleged conspiracies took place between August 2008 and January 2011.

According to the Justice Department, a total of 62 individuals have agreed to plead or have pleaded guilty as a result of the government’s probe of real estate foreclosure auctions in northern California. The defendants in this case were among the last remaining targets of the probe awaiting trial. With additional hearings scheduled in the case next month, a trial in this matter would likely be avoided, and the Justice Department’s antitrust investigation into real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California could fast be coming to a close.

Attorneys: Andrew Nicholson-Meade, U.S. Department of Justice, for the United States. Matthew J. Jacobs and Erica Connolly (Vinson & Elkins LLP) for Joseph J. Giraudo.

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust CaliforniaNews AntitrustDivisionNews

Back to Top

Antitrust Law Daily

Introducing Wolters Kluwer Antitrust Law Daily — a daily reporting service created by attorneys, for attorneys — providing same-day coverage of breaking news, court decisions, legislation, and regulatory activity.


A complete daily report of the news that affects your world

  • View full summaries of federal and state court decisions.
  • Access full text of legislative and regulatory developments.
  • Customize your daily email by topic and/or jurisdiction.
  • Search archives for stories of interest.

Not just news — the right news

  • Get expert analysis written by subject matter specialists—created by attorneys for attorneys.
  • Track law firms and organizations in the headlines with our new “Who’s in the News” feature.
  • Promote your firm with our new reprint policy.

24/7 access for a 24/7 world

  • Forward information with special copyright permissions, encouraging collaboration between counsel and colleagues.
  • Save time with mobile apps for your BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Android, or Kindle.
  • Access all links from any mobile device without being prompted for user name and password.