Bank Of America Employee Charged With Taking At Least $1M In Bribes To Rig Short Sales

Between homeowners eager to get out from underwater mortgages and real estate speculators looking to scoop up below-market properties, there are a lot of people out there eager to grease the wheels to make a short sale happen. And federal authorities say one now-former Bank of America employee accepted at least $1 million in bribes to improperly approve short sales and falsify bank records.

According to the L.A. Times, between late 2010 and early 2011, a BofA staffer is accused by federal prosecutors of rigging short sales on 18 different properties in Southern California.

“The buyers would either resell the homes at the actual property values or in some cases would refinance the property at the actual value, thereby extracting profits on the deals,” explains the U.S. Attorney in the case.

The bank says the defendant, who has entered a not guilty plea, was fired in 2011 and that BofA has been cooperating with the FBI in the investigation. The Times reports that the former employee’s car has been seized and that authorities are looking to do the same with his home.