Antitrust Law Daily Third charge filed in ongoing probe of rigged bids at online government auctions
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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Third charge filed in ongoing probe of rigged bids at online government auctions

By Jeffrey May, J.D.

Missouri man indicted for participating in a conspiracy to rig bids submitted to the General Services Administration at online auctions for surplus equipment between July 2012 and May 2018. Two co-conspirators have already pleaded guilty.

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division today announced that Alan Gaines, a Missouri resident, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for his alleged role in a conspiracy to rig bids submitted to the General Services Administration (GSA) at online auctions for surplus government equipment, including computers. According to the indictment filed under seal in the federal district court in Minneapolis on January 30, Gaines participated in the conspiracy from about July 2012 until as late as May 2018 (U.S. v. Gaines, Case No. 0:20-cr-00020-ECT-HB).

The GSA operates GSA Auctions, which offers the general public the opportunity to bid electronically on a wide variety of federal assets, including computer equipment that is no longer needed by government agencies, according to the Justice Department. GSA Auctions sells that equipment via its online auctions, and the proceeds of the auctions are distributed to the government agencies or the U.S. Treasury general fund.

Earlier charges in probe. Gaines is charged with conspiring with two other individuals, Marshall Holland and Igor Yurkovetsky. Both Holland and Yurkovetsky have already pleaded guilty in the investigation. In April 2019, Holland, the owner of a Texas company that purchases computers to resell and recycle, was the first to admit to his role in the scheme. Holland was charged with participating in the conspiracy from about February 2017 until May 2018.

In September 2019, Yurkovetsky, who was charged in July 2019, pleaded guilty for his role in the conspiracy. Yurkovetsky, a Pennsylvania resident, admitted to participating in the conspiracy from approximately July 2012 to May 2018. That is the same time frame that Gaines is alleged to have been involved in the scheme.

Both are awaiting sentencing, and sentencing dates have not yet been set.

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