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Forsyth County real estate investor sentenced

A Forsyth County real estate investor has been sentenced to fines and probation for his alleged part in a bid rigging conspiracy that defrauded investors of more than $160,000 between July 2008 and Dec. 2011.

According to court documents, on Feb. 5, 2018 Otto Gogolin, a Roswell resident, was sentenced to three years of probation and $54,916 in fines and restitution by U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story for one charge of conspiracy bid rigging and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Gogolin pled guilty to both charges in August of 2016, but was not sentenced until recently.

Court documents from 2018 stated that between 2008 and 2011, Gogolin and “about ten conspirators” “rigged bids and committed bank fraud at the foreclosure auctions of at least 24 properties.”

“The conspirators’ agreement not to bid kept the sale prices often at just one dollar over the opening bid,” the document stated.   

The document stated that “[Gogolin] directly participated in rigging bids on at least nine foreclosure properties in two counties and is responsible for a loss amount of at least $164,391.”

In the sentencing memorandum filed Jan. 26, 2018, Matthew Stegman, a trial attorney for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, wrote that Gogolin’s crimes were not “victimless.”

“To the contrary they affected immediate victims and the community at large,” Stegman states.

Gogolin’s attorney, Drew Findling of The Findling Law Firm stated that they were pleased with the sentencing, calling Gogolin an “upstanding member of the community.”

“We are happy that the judge followed our recommendation to give Mr. Gogolin probation,” Findling said.     

Gogolin will serve three years of probation for his crimes and will serve the first four months of his sentence under house arrest.