Real Estate Broker’s License Suspended After Accusations Of Misappropriation
Real estate brokers help people buy and sell houses. With properties costing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, there’s a lot of money on the line. Funds are often held in escrow accounts. Sometimes money needs to be paid to agents as part of their commissions. Sometimes these situations do not happen, resulting in fraud.
This is what happened in New Hampshire. A broker had his real estate license suspended after he allegedly misappropriated escrow account funds and failed to pay $250,000 in agent commissions. The man’s license was suspended in March 2023, with the order alleging that the agent had misappropriated the funds over a five-month period.
On March 11, the state’s Office of Professional Licensure and Certification received a complaint regarding the real estate agent. Authorities launched an expedited investigation and the man’s real estate license was suspended later that day.
The agent was the principal broker for two franchises: Re/MAX On the Move and RE/MAX Insight. That all changed after his license was suspended. RE/MAX removed the man from its system, terminating both franchises.
The agent had controlled the escrow accounts for both franchises. He had misappropriated the funds in the accounts just recently — between October 2022 and February 2023. His required license suspension hearing was canceled, as he volunteered to suspend operations until the commission made a final decision.
The man’s former Re/MAX franchises are being overseen by a principal broker for the time being. Many of the agents who worked for those franchises have moved on to other RE/MAX franchises.
It’s not clear who filed the complaint against the man. He has volunteered not to practice real estate until his case is resolved. The New Hampshire attorney general’s office is overseeing the case.
Misappropriation of Funds
Misappropriation of funds refers to using money that is not yours. While a real estate agent may have authorized access to money, they still cannot use it as they please. When they use the money for their own benefit or other unauthorized purposes, it becomes a serious crime.
Misappropriation of funds is similar to embezzlement, which is a type of theft. In some cases, a person can be charged with both crimes. A licensed professional who engages in this crime may face felony charges, which can result in prison time, fines, and license loss.
Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Real Estate Broker License Lawyer
Real estate brokers may have access to large amounts of money that don’t belong to them. They need to be ethical in these situations and avoid temptation.
A Tampa real estate broker license lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. can assist you with your administrative issues and work hard to help you keep your license. David Rankin represented the Greater Tampa Realtors for 17 years. He has represented hundreds of brokers and sales associates in DBPR/ Division of Real Estate investigations and license complaints over the past 30 years. Schedule a consultation with my office today by calling (813) 968-6633 or filling out the online form.