Disciplinary Actions – January V38-3

BARBARA M. BASKERVILLE (Asheville) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Baskerville for a period of one year effective December 1, 2007.  The Commission then stayed the suspension under certain conditions. The Commission found that Ms. Baskerville pled guilty to failure to file state income tax returns. The Commission noted that Ms. Baskerville reported the conviction as required and is in compliance with the court order in that matter. Ms. Baskerville neither admitted nor denied the Commission’s findings and conclusions.

KENNETH C. BAUCOM (Greensboro) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Mr. Baucom effective November 1, 207. The Commission found that Mr. Baucom, qualifying broker and broker-in-charge of a rental property management firm, failed to maintain the firm’s trust account records in compliance with Commission rules by using software that did not generate a clear audit trail. The Commission noted that no funds were missing and no consumers were harmed as a result of Mr. Baucom’s conduct and the firm’s trust accounting software was bring brought into compliance with Commission rules.

KELVIN A. BELL (Durham) – The Commission permanently revoked the broker license of Mr. Bell effective October 3, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Bell, acting as a buyer agent for a client in the purchase of a lot and a modular home, failed to discuss agency, failed to enter into a written agency agreement with his client, and failed to provide his customer with a “Working With Real Estate Agents” brochure. The Commission also found that Mr. Bell failed to deposit his client’s $5,000 deposit into a trust or escrow account and instead converted the money to his own use. Finally, the Commission found that Mr. Bell failed to complete the home as promised, failed to refund the deposit as promised, and failed to properly account for the monies.

ALLISON F. BERNHART (Wilmington) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Bernhart for a period of 12 months effective December 1, 2007 on certain conditions. One month of the suspension was active with the remainder stayed for a probationary period of one year. The Commission found that Ms. Bernhart failed to disclose to buyers of her home that repairs made before its sale and while she was still in residence were inadequate.

YVONNE D. BLEDSOE (Hope Mills) – The Commission revoked the broker license of Ms. Bledsoe effective November 19, 2007. The Commission found that Ms. Bledsoe, as a listing agent and, in some cases, as a dual agent representing buyers in certain transactions in which her construction companies built homes on lots owned by the companies, failed to pay subcontractors employed by her in the construction of the properties, and failed to disclose to buyers that she had not paid the subcontractors or that her failure to pay could result in liens against the properties.

BROWNING REALTY, INC. (Garner) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the firm license of Browning Realty for a period of one year effective November 1, 2007. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period of one year on certain conditions. The Commission found that Browning Realty failed to indicate in the MLS system that the seller contributed approximately $8,300 in buyer concessions. The Commission also found that Browning Realty created and backdated agency contracts and agency disclosure forms for transaction files in which it had no such forms at the time of contact by the Commission.

ROBERT L. BROWNING (Garner) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Browning for a period of one year effective November 1, 2007. Six months of the suspension are active with the remainder stayed for a probationary period of one year on certain conditions. The Commission found that in 2001 Mr. Browning failed to indicate in the MLS system that the seller contributed approximately $8,300 in buyer concessions. The Commission also found that Mr. Browning created and backdated agency contracts and agency disclosure forms for transaction files in which it had no such forms at the time of contact by the Commission.

PHYLLIS K. COLE (Corolla) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Cole for a period of 36 months effective October 24, 2007. Ninety days of the suspension were active with the remainder stayed for a probationary period on certain conditions. The Commission found that Ms. Cole was convicted on July 27, 2006 of five counts of failure to pay her State income taxes from 2000-2005 and was ordered to pay restitution, a fine and costs, and sentenced to 45 days in custody, suspended for 36 months probation. The Commission noted that Ms. Cole entered into a payment plan with the Department of Revenue to repay the taxes.

DOUGLAS J. MILLSAPS REALTY, INC. (Cornelius) – By Consent, the Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the firm license of Douglas J. Millsaps Realty for a period of three years effective December 1, 2007. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Douglas J. Millsaps Realty had violated the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Douglas J. Millsaps Realty neither admitted nor denied misconduct.

SHARON PHILLIPS EMORY (Creedmoor) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Ms. Emory effective October 11, 2007. The Commission found that Ms. Emory, on or about July 23, 2007, pleaded guilty to and was convicted of a number of counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

CLAYTON RAY EVANS (Raleigh) The Commission revoked the broker license of Mr. Evans effective August 29, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Evans, qualifying broker of a real estate brokerage firm, managed a residential rental property and failed to disclose to the owner material information regarding the property, failed to account for or remit to the owner monies received, and failed to provide timely and complete accountings to his client. The Commission also found that Mr. Evans failed to make trust account records available for inspection by the Commission.

TERRY FETHERSON (Charlotte) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Ms. Fetherson effective February 1, 2008. The Commission found that Ms. Fetherson, as a buyer’s agent in a transaction, agreed to allow an unlicensed third party to provide the down payment to her buyer without disclosing this on the settlement statement or to the lender and agreed that the third party would be reimbursed after closing from funds paid to her as a bonus. The Commission noted that the closing attorney and Ms. Fetherson’s broker-in-charge refused to pay the third party after closing.

RICHARD H. FORREST (Southmont) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Forrest for a period of one year effective January 1, 2008. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period of one year under certain conditions. The Commission found that Mr. Forrest, while licensed as a salesperson, received commissions directly from a builder and failed to turn these commissions over to his broker-in-charge. The Commission also found that in 2003 Mr. Forrest collected a $2,000 earnest money deposit from a client and deposited the buyer’s money directly into his personal account. The Commission further found that Mr. Forrest stated that he did not receive a commission when, in fact, the buyer in that transaction paid Mr. Forrest a $3,000 cash commission; failed to give his buyer client an agency brochure; and failed to have a written buyer agency agreement with the buyer as required. Finally, the Commission found that Mr. Forrest removed a competitor’s “for sale” sign from the yard of a home on three separate occasions.

GERRY G. FOSTER (Wake Forest) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of Mr. Foster’s broker license for a period of three years effective November 8, 2007. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Mr. Foster violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Mr. Foster neither admitted nor denied misconduct.

SHARON ANN GABBERT (Sanford) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Ms. Gabbert effective November 1, 2007. The Commission found that Ms. Gabbert, acting as bookkeeper and rental manager for a real estate brokerage firm, converted to her own use more then $6,000 in client funds which had been entrusted to the firm as cash rent payments.

MICHAEL W. GIBSON (Greenville) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Gibson for a period of 60 days effective January 1, 2008. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period. The Commission found that Mr. Gibson, qualifying broker of a firm that provided property management services, failed to put trust account safeguards in place to prevent an unlicensed employee from embezzling rents. The Commission noted that the firm’s trust accounts were generally in compliance and in balance.

JAMES F. HAMBY (Jacksonville) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Hamby for a period of one year effective July 1, 2007. Four months of the suspension were active with the remainder stayed on certain conditions. The Commission found that Mr. Hamby failed to report multiple misdemeanor convictions to the Commission within 60 days of the final judgment.

NORMA CURTIS HARLESS (Lenoir) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Harless for a period of six months effective December 1, 2007. The Commission found that Ms. Harless, a licensed appraiser, prepared three appraisals in 2002 of the same property, determining three different values for the property ranging from $198,000 to $239,000, and appraised the property as if an addition had been completed when it had not. The Commission also found that effective December 1, 2004, the North Carolina Appraisal Board suspended Ms. Harless’ appraisal license for six months, ordering her to complete additional continuing education before the license would be reinstated. The Commission noted that Ms. Harless surrendered her appraisal license to the North Carolina Appraisal Board in a separate case.

BILLY RAY JOHNSON (Salisbury) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Mr. Johnson effective October 11, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Johnson pled guilty to three counts of conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering in connection with a series of commercial and residential real estate transactions designed with the intent to defraud various lenders by creating false down payments and other false information material to the lenders in their process of approving the loans.

WILLIE CAROL JUSTICE (Goldsboro) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Justice for a period of 24 months effective November 1, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Justice, acting as a dual agent, was aware of payments from the seller’s proceeds at closing to third parties with whom the seller had no contractual obligation, which were characterized as loan payoffs. The Commission also found that Mr. Justice was aware that the settlement statement did not reflect the actual transaction of the parties. Mr. Justice neither admitted nor denied the findings and conclusions of the Commission but, nevertheless, accepted the suspension of his broker license.

RICHARD D. MEADOR (Henderson) – The Commission revoked the broker license of Mr. Meador effective December 1, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Meador, acting as a mobile home salesman associated with a real estate broker, conspired between 1999 and 2002 with the broker to encourage and assist purchasers of mobile homes and land to make false statements to lenders to induce them to provide mortgage financing. The Commission also found that in 2006, Mr. Meador pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering and was sentenced to 53 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,270,299 in restitution to identified victims.

DOUGLAS J. MILLSAPS (Cornelius) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Mr. Millsaps effective December 1, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Millsaps purchased three properties in January, February and March of 2004 and misrepresented to each of the lenders in the three transactions that it was his intention to owner-occupy each property.

PONCE DE LEON MOODY (Raleigh) – The Commission revoked the broker license of Mr. Moody effective December 3, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Moody represented when he obtained a salesperson license in 1990 that he had not been convicted of a criminal offense when in fact he had been convicted of writing a worthless check. The Commission also found that Mr. Moody, while licensed, was convicted of writing worthless checks on a closed account, obtaining money by false pretenses, two counts of “Simple Worthless Check”, and two counts of misdemeanor larceny and that he failed to report to the Commission certain of the convictions and also the surrender of his insurance license to the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

ROBERT PARGA (Wilmington) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Parga for a period of one year effective December 1, 2007. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period of one year and ordered him to withdraw a firm license application until the probationary term is complete. The Commission found that Mr. Parga was convicted in 2005 of the misdemeanor of violating a domestic violence order and failed to report the conviction. The Commission also found that on October 26, 2006, Mr. Parga pled guilty to misdemeanor stalking and to another violation of a domestic violence order and was sentenced to six months intensive probation for each conviction.

MARY E. PARKS (Jackson) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Parks for a period of one year effective December 1, 2007. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period of 31 months. The Commission found that Ms. Parks acted as a buyer agent and drafted an offer to purchase and contract involving owner financing of $17,550, which was to be forgiven after the buyer made one payment. The Commission also found that Ms. Parks failed to adequately complete a Seller Financing Addendum and failed to produce her transaction file when requested by the Commission.

PINNACLE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT OF NC., INC. (Greenville) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Pinnacle Property Management effective January 1, 2008. The Commission found that Pinnacle Property Management failed to suspend an unlicensed employee or to put trust account safeguards in place to prevent an unlicensed employee from embezzling rents. The Commission noted that Pinnacle Property Management’s trust accounts were generally in compliance and in balance.

PREFERRED REALTY & ASSOCIATES (Raleigh) – The Commission revoked the firm license of Preferred Realty effective August 29, 2007. The Commission found that Preferred Realty managed a residential rental property and failed to disclose to the owner material information regarding the property, failed to account for or remit to the owner monies received, and failed to provide timely and complete accountings to his client. The Commission also found that Preferred Realty failed to make trust account records available for inspection by the Commission.

CAROLINE R. PURCELL (Concord) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Purcell for a period of one year effective June 14, 2007.  Effective December 1, 2007, upon reinstatement of her driving privileges, the Commission stayed the suspension and placed Ms. Purcell on probation for the remainder of the one-year period. The Commission found that Ms. Purcell was convicted of Driving While Impaired ((DWI) in 2006 and placed on probation for 18 months after a seven day active term, and that her driving privileges were revoked for one year. The Commission further found that this was Ms. Purcell’sfourth DWI since 1985.  The Commission noted that Ms. Purcell reported the conviction within 60 days, and cooperated with the Commission’s inquiry.

GREGORY C. SKIPPER (Oak Island) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Skipper for a period of two years effective August 1, 2007. Three months of the suspension were active with the remainder stayed for a probationary period. The Commission found that Mr. Skipper pleaded guilty on August 29, 2005 in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to possess a controlled substance. The Commission noted that no client or customer of Mr. Skipper was harmed by or put at risk by Mr. Skipper’s conduct.

CAROLYN B. SMITH (Cornelius) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Smith for a period of one year effective January 1, 2008. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period of one year on certain conditions. The Commission found that Ms. Smith, as broker-in-charge of a real estate brokerage firm, failed to ensure that the firm’s bank accounts were designated trust or escrow, failed to ensure that deposit tickets, ledgers and checks sufficiently identified the required transaction details, failed to maintain a personal funds ledger, and failed to perform trial balances and reconciliations, resulting in an approximate $2,000 shortage in the trust account. The Commission noted that the shortage was immediately replaced into the account.

RICHARD L. VAN TASSEL, II (Apex) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Van Tassel for a period of one year effective July 1, 2007. Four months of the suspension were active with the remainder stayed for a probationary term under certain conditions. The Commission found that Mr. Van Tassel, a builder, sold a new construction home and misrepresented the home as having four bedrooms when it had only a three-bedroom septic permit; misrepresented that he would do an upgrade of siding when he was already required to do so pursuant to a civil settlement, and failed to disclose that the home had been built to the maximum impervious footprint allowance so that no addition such as a patio would be possible.

DENA WAGER-FORD (Hope Mills) – The Commission revoked the broker license of Ms. Wager-Ford effective November 15, 2007. The Commission found that Ms. Wager-Ford misrepresented to sellers in an Installment Land Sale Contract for her purchase of their home that she would complete the purchase within six months when she did not. The Commission also found that Ms. Wager-Ford made a false promise of a character likely to influence, persuade or induce, induced the sellers to sign an agreement requiring them to violate the terms of their mortgage, and refused to provide records and information when requested to do so by the Commission.

WADE H. WATERS, JR. (Washington) – The Commission revoked the broker license of Mr. Waters effective October 3, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Waters failed to report certain criminal convictions in 2001 and 2005 to the Commission as required by Commission rules. The Commission also found that Mr. Waters listed a vacant lot and failed to specifically identify the property that was the subject of the listing and advertised the property in the local MLS as having a “Perc Test” document on file when no such document existed. The Commission further found that Mr. Waters incorrectly identified the street address for the property and failed to disclose to the buyers that the sellers were denied a septic permit and the buyers were thus unable to build on the lot.

JASON W. WRIGHT (Charlotte) – By Consent, the Commission permanently revoked the broker license of Mr. Wright effective December 1, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Wright purchased two properties and received concessions outside closing in each transaction exceeding the amounts permitted by the lenders. The Commission also found that the incentives were not disclosed on the closing statement or to the lenders in the transactions.

XAVIER L. WEST (Fayetteville) – The Commission revoked the broker license of Mr. West effective November 13, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. West, broker-in-charge of his own firm and acting as property manager for a fourplexrental building, submitted false management statements to the owner indicating that expenses had been paid when they had not, failed to account for and remit money belonging to his client within a reasonable time, failed to maintain in a trust account all monies received by him in his capacity as a real estate licensee, neglected his duties in the handling of funds, failed to make records available to the Commission when directed to do so, and failed to perform his duties as broker-in-charge by failing to maintain trust account records.

This article came from the January 2008-Vol38-3 edition of the bulletin.