The criminal trial of Joseph Wolfson, of Margate, has begun in federal court in Newark.

Wolfson and his two Northfield companies were indicted for their role in a conspiracy to rig bids at a tax lien auction.

Gregg Gehring, of Newton, Sussex County, James Jeffers Jr., of Burlington, Robert Jeffrey, of Florida, along with Betty Simon Trustee and Richard Simon Trustee, were all charged with conspiracy in 2013.

The trial began Sept. 18 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse.

The indictment handed down in November 2013 said that from at least 1998 until as late as February 2009, the investors participated in a conspiracy to rig bids at auctions for the sale of New Jersey municipal tax liens “by agreeing to allocate among certain bidders which liens each would bid on.”

The indictment charges that the investors submitted bids in line with the agreements, and purchased tax liens at collusive, non-competitive interest rates.

The charges are punishable by as many as 10 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.

Contact: 609-272-7275

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