The Lincoln property appraisers, who also specialize in the appraisal of real estate, have been accused of running fake online auctions for months, according to an article published on Crypto Coins by Real Estate Agent News.
According to a statement posted on the website, the Lincoln real estate appraisal service was “known for misleading real estate investors with inflated prices, unrealistic sales targets, and the practice of falsifying the market value of their properties to make them look more expensive.”
According to the statement, the real estate service has a history of inflating the market prices of property for both sellers and buyers.
“These fraudulent practices have been widely known and reported to the Lincoln City Council,” it continued.
The real estate professionals are allegedly paid in cash to perform the services and then charge their clients the inflated prices.
The service has been accused several times of running the auction scam, and at least one Lincoln realtor was arrested for running the fake auctions.
According a report published by the website Coin Center, in 2015, a realtor in Lincoln, Indiana, paid a $100k fake fee to an appraiser for a home he had sold for $350,000.
The home was later sold for over $2 million and the realtor got paid $250,000, according a report by the Lincoln Observer.
Another realtor allegedly paid $40,000 to an appraisal firm to conduct an online auction for a $250k home.
In March 2016, a person working for the Lincoln County Property Appraisers’ Association was arrested after allegedly offering $300,000 for the sale of a home for $2.4 million.
The buyer was allegedly unaware of the fake bids.
Another Lincoln realtors association allegedly paid a company to conduct a fake auction for $80,000 of a $1.8 million home.
A former appraiser from the company was arrested in 2015 for allegedly bilking investors out of nearly $800,000 worth of money.
In May 2016, an Indiana realtor charged $150,000 from an appraisal company for a property he was not allowed to sell.
In 2016, the Real Estate Appraiser Association of Lincoln County charged a Lincoln realestate appraiser $60,000 and a company $60 a week to perform an online real estate auction for over a $2,000 sale.
In September 2015, the owner of a house in Lincoln County, Indiana was charged with “fraudulently obtaining and maintaining a false assessment and false price for real estate.”
The Lincoln County appraiser’s association is also facing several complaints of fraud in recent years, according the Coin Center report.