‘Everybody defends’ doesn’t work for house flipper Gregory Guzman

The Philadelphia real estate investor was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for bribing sheriff’s office officials in exchange for an advantage in a competitive auction of seized and foreclosed properties, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Guzman, the co-founder of Enterprise Properties, admitted to paying more than $9,000 in kickbacks, including cash, between 2011 and 2013 to a former deputy of Sheriff Jewell Williams, the outlet said. , dinner and free rental.

Guzman’s attorneys sought to influence U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetle by downplaying the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, saying many had committed such conduct.

The judge, however, had other ideas.

“Not everyone does that,” Beatles-Stone said, according to the outlet. “I’m not sure you fully understand the gravity of what you’ve done.”

Guzman’s sentencing marks the end of a decade-long investigation into corruption in the sheriff’s sale. He is the last of three real estate speculators to be punished for bribing former deputy Michael Riversoe.

Riverso was sentenced to one year in prison in 2019 for accepting more than $40,000 in bribes from Guzman and others. By offering his favored bidders early access to property listings and expedited processing, Riverso enables them to flip properties for a profit before payment is due.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah L. Grieb said Guzman and Riverso’s crimes contributed to a culture of corruption within the sheriff’s office.

Gribe, while acknowledging Guzman’s assistance in cracking the scheme, highlighted the significant damage it has done to Philadelphia and the sheriff’s office.

Guzman’s defense attorneys highlighted his client’s compensation efforts, including giving up his real estate license, seeking treatment for alcoholism and paying most of his restitution and back taxes.

While acknowledging Guzman’s advances, Beatlestone expressed concern over the defense’s claim that the crime had no intended victim. Guzman’s lawyers clarified his statement, but the judge abruptly ended the proceedings.

— Ted Glazer

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