State alleged that parties rigged bids on interest rates for tax certificates sold at auction by the state. Tax certificates are in effect liens placed on properties for which taxes have not been timely paid. Each year, such certificates are auctioned by tax collectors around the state to individuals willing to pay the outstanding taxes. A property owner who later wishes to reclaim a piece of property from a certificate holder must pay the amount of delinquent taxes, plus accrued interest. Under state law, the maximum annual interest a tax certificate holder may earn is 18 percent. A given certificate is awarded to the bidder who agrees to accept the lowest amount of interest if the certificate is redeemed by the property owner. The state alleged bidders began meeting outside the auction room and conspiring to drive up the potential yield on the tax certificates by ceasing to compete.All but one party settled for a total of 754,500.