Alabama Real Estate Investors Sentenced for Mail Fraud

Department of Justice officials reported Monday that two Alabama real estate investors have been sentenced in Mobile U.S. District Court to nearly two years in prison for big rigging at public foreclosure auctions and mail fraud.  Robert M. Brannon of Laurel, Miss., and his son, Jason R. Brannon of Mobile each will face 20 months in prison for their involvement in these conspiracies.  J&R Properties LLC, which is a Mobile-based company owned by the Brannon’s, must also pay $22,000 in restitution to the victims of this crime.

Authorities say that the two men conspired with others not to bid against each other at public foreclosure auctions in southern Alabama.  After the designated bidder bought the property at public auction, the conspirators would hold a secret auction among themselves.  The mail fraud charges stem from the Brannons use of the United States postal service to acquire titles to the rigged foreclosure properties that were purchased.

The indictment charged the Brannons and their company in participating in the bid-rigging and mail fraud conspiracies from October 2004 until at least August 2007.

Officials say eight individuals and two companies have pleaded guilty in connection with this case.

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