Real Estate Class Action Settlement OK’d By Judge

Another day, another scam uncovered. This time, some unscrupulous real estate agents and their companies were punished for keeping rival businesses from marketing their properties in Pennsylvania.

U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab Tuesday approved a settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging that area real estate players stifled competition.

The case filed, by homeowner Thomas L. Logue against West Penn Multilist Inc., Howard Hanna Real Estate, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Freeman Realty, Northwood Realty and Prudential Preferred Realty, applies to property buyers who made purchases through those businesses from Feb. 13, 2005 through Feb. 13, 2009. The case settled for $2.4 million.

That’s a pretty severe punishment for a fairly stupid crime. As we’ve said before, the government is not taking this stuff lightly. Devious real estate firms operate at your own risk.