Thursday, May 30, 2013

Who's policing dishonest BC Realtors?



Lots of disscusion in our posts (see here and here) about CTV-BC's coverage of realtor Marco Vincenzi's forging of signatures and altering documents.  Apparently this was done in order to increase his commission on the sale of a yaletown condo.

In their third instalment of their coverage, CTV-BC asks 'Who's policing dishonest BC Realtors?' It's a poignant question, particularly in light of the MAC Marketing scandal we covered earlier this year.

After admitting to altering documents and other improper behavior, MacKenzie’s realtor (Marco Vincenzi) was ordered to pay a $1,250 fine, take a remedial course. He was also suspended for 120 days. The council took 16 months to make its decision. Said MacKenzie:
"To see this long drawn out secretive real estate council process that finally resulted in something that I think is just a slap on the wrist is insulting and angers me. It calls into question for me the actual ability of the real estate council to do their job and their mandate and uphold the public interest, rather than giving the perception that they're protecting the realtors."
Bingo!

What is particularly frustrating is the fact that MacKenzie also went to the Vancouver Police Department, who declined to proceed with a criminal investigation. Her case was ultimately reviewed by the Financial Crime Unit which felt the situation was better handled through a regulatory process rather than a criminal one.

And we've just seen how effective that was.

Even more galling was the fact that Vincenzi was allowed to continue selling real estate after the complaints were filed.  In virtually any other professional field, an individual accused of misconduct is placed on some form of administrative leave until individual is cleared of wrongdoing... and with good reason.

If the accused individual is, in fact, committing fraudulent acts... are you really going to let that person carry on committing the same (or worse) offences against innocent/unwitting members of the public?

It brings to mind the liars from the MAC Marketing scandal, who just so happened to dupe CTV-BC,  Despite having committed specific violations of the Realtor Code of Ethics, the infamous 'Chris Lee' is still selling real estate as the RECBC supposedly investigates (see here and here).

As MacKenzie says, it all "calls into question the actual ability of the real estate council to do their job and their mandate and uphold the public interest, rather than giving the perception that they're protecting the realtors."

It's gratifying to see CTV-BC finally begin to look at these issues.  But more needs to be done.

We asked Lynda Steele of CTV-BC about the status of the MAC Marketing investigations.  Here is our twitter exchange (click to enlarge):


She says she thinks it's worth taking another look at. If you agree, let her know on twitter  or via email at Steeleonyourside@ctv.ca

Make your voice heard.

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13 comments:

  1. Slap of the wrist? More like a love tap on the wrist with a wink and a nod. Realtors are overtaking used car salesmen on being trustworthy. And they have the nerve to call themselves professionals.

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  2. Have any Vincenzi stories described what MacKenzie's financial loss was?

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  3. WOW! Vincenzi's Parents, Future Wife and Future inlaws must be very proud of him!!

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  4. This is total injustice! A regulatory board does not have the jurisdiction to handle CRIMINAL offenses! This guy stole money using forged documents. In any other situation, he would be arrested. He has to official record of this crime anywhere...he is still BONDABLE for pete's sake!

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  5. Don't blame the RECBC. The fault lies with law enforcement who refused to take action.

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  6. Miss Behavin -- realturd extraordinaireMay 31, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Anyone who's taken the ethics course to get their realturd license knows the insider saying, 'If you're not cheating, you're not working hard enough!'

    ReplyDelete
  7. 8:29 AM,
    Are you kidding me. This guy should of have had his license revoked for fraud.He should then also been charged criminally for fruad.
    Its that simple.I put the blame on the RECBC
    for there Mickey Mouse attitude.

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  8. You asked who's policing dishonest BC realtors? The answer is: no one. Not the Vancouver police or the RCMP; they apparently deemed it beneath them to protect the financial interests of citizens. Certainly not the RECBC; it purpose is to serve the realtors, not police them.

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  9. With a resume like his, one can only think that he is definitely senate material.

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  10. Still no bust in Vancouver, hmm...

    http://www.yattermatters.com/2013/06/vancouver-average-prices-3-times-lucky/

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  11. It is great to see that CTV exposed this scam. CTV often promote RE industry in Vancouver likely due to the ad money?

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  12. Look guys. This is how other "professional" organizations deal with forging documents.

    http://www.theprovince.com/news/Victoria+lawyer+Malcolm+Zoraik+disbarred+Society+fabricating/8473087/story.html

    RECBC, take notice.

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  13. "AnonymousMay 31, 2013 at 3:55 AM

    Have any Vincenzi stories described what MacKenzie's financial loss was?"

    I think that's an important question when it comes to evaluating relativity. I don't think she lost anything (but I do think she's entitled to Mr. Vincenzi's portion of the commission that he negotiated with the seller).

    "AnonymousMay 31, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    This is total injustice! A regulatory board does not have the jurisdiction to handle CRIMINAL offenses! This guy stole money using forged documents. In any other situation, he would be arrested."

    I think yes and no. The RECBC can't hand out criminal punishment, but they can still address behaviour that both qualifies as criminal and breaks RESA regulations.

    Would the cops arrest him for forgery in any other situation? I doubt it. We're a very lenient society.

    "AnonymousMay 31, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    You asked who's policing dishonest BC realtors? The answer is: no one."

    There is still the possibility of a REBGV investigation.

    ReplyDelete