State alleged parties conspired to fix prices and rig bids for public auctions of real estate
located in Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Angier, Apex, Hillsborough communities. The conspiracy involved properties that were up for routine auction through county Clerks of Superior Court due to foreclosure. State alleged that some bidders on foreclosed property were paying competitors to stay out of the auctions so that the properties would sell at low prices. The settling defendants agreed to make payments of nearly $800,000 to reimburse property sellers who lost money due to the bid rigging The consent agreements also bar the parties from conspiring with others
about bidding. In addition, they may not communicate with other bidders about their bids or attempt to make deals to buy or sell a property from another bidder before the pending auction or sale is complete.