U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officials have busted an alleged Orange County Courthouse property auction conspiracy that involved fake high bids and kickbacks.
According to DOJ records obtained by the Weekly, Sean Frankhouse–an auctioneer at Reliable Posting and Publishing (RPP) that sells foreclosed residential properties usually at local courthouses–used an accomplice to cheat honest bidders.
Frankhouse arranged for his accomplice (identified only as R.P. in court records) to offer fake high bids so that he could obtain properties for himself, according to DOJ.
Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Waier claims Frankhouse paid R.P. $5,000 each time he participated in the 2012 scam and that in secret they lowered the auction prices by as much as $57,000 per property before misleading RPP about bidding results.
California incorporation records list Frankhouse–a South County resident who was born in 1980–as owner of various companies, including West Coast Funding, Chumbucket, Inc, S.F., Inc., and Premier Housing Fund, LLC.
A judge inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse has not yet been assigned to preside over the case filed by DOJ this month.