Former tennis pro-turned real estate investor Douglas Ditmer testified in federal court today that one of the East Bay’s biggest landlords, Michael Marr, was a key player in a massive scheme to rig foreclosure auctions between 2008 and 2011.
Marr’s company, Community Realty, currently owns about 280 houses and small apartment buildings in Alameda County, according to public records. About 90 percent of these homes are located in Oakland. Many were obtained at foreclosure auctions.
Ditmer admitted to participating in a conspiracy involving numerous investors who suppressed bidding on foreclosed homes at public auctions. The investors would later divvy the properties up at private auctions and pay each other kickbacks.
Although Ditmer already pleaded guilty, he is cooperating with the government in hopes of obtaining a more lenient sentence.
On the stand, Ditmer said Marr and his employees were frequently at the auctions, held on the steps of the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland and the courthouse in Martinez, and that they participated in the bid…
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