State News

State alleges bid-rigging at foreclosure auctions

Posted December 28, 2010

— A Virginia businessman and his company must pay a penalty of more than $47,000 for rigging bids during North Carolina foreclosure auctions.

Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens has approved state prosecutors' request for a judgment against Bruce Olvin McBarnette of Sterling, Va., and the company Summit Connection LLC. McBarnette has already paid $4,900 of the judgment, officials said, noting the money will go to the sellers of the properties.

Attorney General Roy Cooper says McBarnette entered agreements to stop bidding on four properties in Durham in exchange for payment from other bidders.

"Trying to fix public auctions isn’t the fair, legal way to do business,” Cooper said in a statement. “Bid rigging squelches honest competition and keeps buyers and sellers from getting a truly fair price.”

McBarnette also attempted to get competing bidders to pay him in seven other property auctions, but the bidders turned him down, officials said. The auctions took place in Durham and Mecklenburg counties.

McBarnette did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday.


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  • Sherlock Dec 29, 2010

    How is this bid rigging, he was paid to stop his bidding by individuals that wanted the property..He did not cheat anyone sounds like go business this type of action goes on the the House and Sen. at the state and Fed level everyday what is the diff.

  • UPTOP Dec 28, 2010

    ppl try refinancing thinking they have a fixed loan not realizing it's only for 3 to 4 years and once that's over with the rate changes, that's where they get stuck !!

  • My_Fault Dec 28, 2010

    Well Well - Guess what is in the Foreclosure septic tank? Same thing that is in any other one. This whole foreclosure mess is out of control and no one seems to care that there are people, families behind every sale every number. Maybe they should not have been alowed to buy a house in the first place but they did and this "foreclosure" is now their "dream home".

  • WhatYaGonnaDoNow Dec 28, 2010

    @southern wisdom - huh? what?

  • southern wisdom Dec 28, 2010

    Are the ones offing the payment to stop bidding being charged or are they democrats?