Elderly man sentenced to home detention for rigging auctions

Jack W. Stollof, who with a partner made millions by illegally rigging Maryland's tax lien auctions, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 months of home detention for the crime and ordered to pay an $800,000 fine, according to the U.S. Justice Department, which prosecuted the case.

Co-defendant Harvey M. Nusbaum, 72, was given a similar sentence earlier this month in Baltimore's U.S. District Court, though he was ordered to spend his term in federal prison. A DOJ spokeswoman said Stollof, who is in his mid 70s, received electronic monitoring at home because of health concerns.

The defendants said they didn't know that their actions, which involved secret signals and collusion, were illegal. Court papers said the men worked together to eliminate competition for tax liens, then used those liens to pressure home owners into paying high fees or giving up their properties.