WASHINGTON -- A Danville man already accused of helping to rig bids at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Joaquin County will face an additional charge, prosecutors said.
Andrew Katakis has been charged with obstruction of justice in addition to conspiring with others to rig bids and commit mail fraud, according to a release from Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California.
Wagner said in the statement that after Katakis was notified that a federal grand jury had subpoenaed his bank account, he and his co-conspirators deleted electronic records related to the rigged bids. The group then overwrote deleted electronic records so that they could not be viewed or recovered.
The new charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine.
The original indictment against Katakis alleged that he and his co-conspirators rigged bids on properties at public auctions and then diverted money to each other that would have otherwise gone to beneficiaries. The conspiracy lasted from at least September 2008 until at least October 2009, prosecutors say.
The bid rigging charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals. He and others are also charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
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