— MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A local real estate investor has pleaded guilty to manipulating auctions of foreclosed properties.
Lawrence B. Stacy is the fourth person to admit to a long-running conspiracy. The Press-Register reports (http://bit.ly/IbupQN) Stacy pleaded guilty to a bid-rigging conspiracy and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He admitted to conspiring with others from May 2002 to January 2007 to arrange which investor would place bids on certain properties, depressing competition and reducing prices.
After the designated bidder bought a property at the public auctions, the conspirators would hold a secret, second auction. The highest bidder at that auction won the property.
Under the terms of his plea agreement, Stacy would serve six months in prison, pay a $10,000 fine and make restitution in the amount of $1,500.