04 May Jury finds Triangle firm committed ‘bid rigging’ – TBJ
by Lauren Ohnesorge, Senior Staff Writer, Triangle Business Journal
It was a bold business model. The Estates’ website outlines the plan, how the founders “built a company that tracks distressed properties in a given state.”
“We have many employees that work full time to pull in the best deals with the best spreads and returns,” the membership-based firm promises. Buyers pay 12 percent interest, the website says, with much of the work done for them by The Estates, which lists a Cary address.
But De Leon and Da Costa – and a handful of similarly situated homeowners – pushed back, filing a federal lawsuit against The Estates through Chapel Hill attorney James White.
White said the case, which first hit the federal docket back in 2019, stands out for its potential impact.
“There’s a lot of people who will prey on consumers, homeowners in multiple says,” he said. “When there’s an opportunity to do something. … when you can help them in such a direct and substantial way, it’s great.”
White’s co-counsel was Dhamian Blue of Raleigh. The case heard in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.