Disciplinary Actions – June 2007-V38-1

DEBORAH H. BOWMAN (Pinebluff) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the broker license of Ms. Bowman for a period of two years effective April 12, 2007. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Ms. Bowman violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Ms. Bowman neither admitted nor denied misconduct.

TAMMIE D. BRISCOE (Fayetteville) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Ms. Briscoe effective March 1, 2007. The Commission found that Ms. Briscoe, acting as a buyer agent, assisted her customers in entering into a contract to purchase a house and lot for $65,000 from a corporation owned by Ms. Briscoe when the corporation did not, in fact, own the property, but only had a contract to purchase it for $46,500. The Commission further found that Ms. Briscoe did not disclose to her buyers that the corporation would make a profit on the sale, instead falsely leading her buyers to believe that they were purchasing the property from the Veterans Administration following a foreclosure. Finally, the Commission found that Ms. Briscoe loaned her buyers approximately $9,000 for the down payment without disclosing to the lender that the money was borrowed in contravention of the lender’s instructions.

SANDRA H. BUCKERY (Wilmington) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Buckery for a period of six months effective April 1, 2007. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period of six months. The Commission found that Ms. Buckery, as listing agent for her own property, failed to disclose in writing to the agent of buyers who contracted to purchase the property, that the property had been previously clad in synthetic stucco. The Commission noted that Ms. Buckery has resolved the matter with the buyers to their satisfaction.

KEVIN T. BURGESS (Burlington) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Mr. Burgess effective May 1, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Burgess, as a broker and manager of a homeowners’ association, failed to keep the association’s funds in a trust account and also made unauthorized transfers of funds from the association’s deposit account.

CRAFT HOMES USA, LLC (Monroe) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the firm license of Craft Homes for a period of two years effective March 1, 2007. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period of five years. The Commission found that Craft Homes employed a broker-in-charge and salesperson who knowingly provided false information to lenders in various transactions between 2001 and 2003. Craft Homes terminated their employment and has fully cooperated with the Commission’s investigator in this matter.

TONYA W. DIXON (Greenville) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Ms. Dixon effective February 26, 2007. The Commission found that Ms. Dixon, acting as listing agent for a property in foreclosure, failed to assure that a buyer who contracted to purchase the property was aware of the foreclosure. The buyer was unable to make timely arrangements to purchase it.

RICHARD H. FLEMING (Garner) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Mr. Fleming effective June 1, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Fleming acted as a buyer agent in a transaction where the buyer did not have sufficient funds to close; that at closing, the seller paid approximately $2,000 to the buyer, with the understanding that the buyer would reimburse the seller after closing; and that the loan was not disclosed on the closing statement. The Commission further found that the seller learned afterward that the payment outside closing was illegal and refused to accept the funds.

ROBERT F. FRANEK (Charlotte) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the broker license of Mr. Franek for a period of two years effective May 1, 2007. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Mr. Franek violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Mr. Franek neither admitted nor denied misconduct.

JEREMY W. HARDISON (Wilmington) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Hardison for a period of 30 days effective February 28, 2006. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period of one year. The Commission found that Mr. Hardison failed to disclose on his 2004 application for a salesperson license two misdemeanor convictions. The Commission noted that Mr. Hardison did disclose these offenses on his 2005 broker license application.

DONNA HARVEY (Surf City) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Harvey for a period of 90 days effective March 1, 2007. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period of one year. The Commission found that Ms. Harvey, while acting as broker-in-charge of a real estate brokerage firm, made no effort to review or oversee trust account procedures and therefore failed to detect significant trust account problems and shortages.

ROBERT H. HEWSON (Wilmington) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Mr. Hewson effective February 26, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Hewson, on November 8, 2005, pled guilty toDischarging a Weapon in Occupied PropertyViolating a Domestic Protection Order, and First Degree Murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

FRED A. HOFFMAN (Gastonia) – The Commission accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of the broker license of Mr. Hoffman effective April 1, 2007. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Mr. Hoffman violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Mr. Hoffman neither admitted nor denied misconduct.

HOFFMAN SALES & DEVELOPMENT (Gastonia) – The Commission accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of the firm license of Hoffman Sales and Development effective April 1, 2007. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that the firm violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. The firm neither admitted nor denied misconduct.

LUCY P. JACOBS (Mooresville) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Jacobs for a period of one year effective December 15, 2006. One month was active with the remainder stayed for a probationary term of 11 months. The Commission found that Ms. Jacobs submitted false documentation to a lender for the purpose of obtaining commission draws which were not due at the time she specified and, in one case, obtained $20,000 when she knew there was no commission due her at all. The Commission noted that Ms. Jacobs has since repaid the debt she incurred.

ELIZABETH M. JONES (Oak Island) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Ms. Jones effective March 1, 2007. The Commission found that Ms. Jones, who was bookkeeper and property manager for a firm acting as rental agent for owners of residential rental property, converted client monies in the firm’s care and trust to her own use.

GORDON B. JONES (Kitty Hawk) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Jones for a period of two years effective February 1, 2007. One month of the suspension was active with the remainder stayed under certain conditions. The Commission found that Mr. Jones, as principal broker and broker-in-charge of a real estate brokerage firm, failed to accurately calculate earned commissions withdrawn from client monies in the firm’s trust accounts, was unable to calculate accurate trial balances and was required to adjust commission payments to bring the trust account books and records into balance. The Commission noted that no client or customer suffered any loss or inconvenience.

SHERRY D. JORDAN (West Jefferson) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Jordan for a period of six months effective January 1, 2007. Two months were active with the remainder stayed for a probationary period of 10 months. The Commission found that Ms. Jordan, serving as dual agent for the purchase of two parcels of land by an agent in her office, failed to enter into a written buyer agency agreement with the buyer or get a Dual Agency Addendum signed. The Commission also found that, after the contract for purchase was signed, Ms. Jordan created a new, fictitious contract showing a price increase of $10,000 to enable the buyer to obtain a loan for a higher amount. Finally, the Commission found that at closing Ms. Jordan signed her commission check to the buyer without disclosing this to the lender or documenting it on the closing statement and also failed to inform the buyer of an easement existing on the property.

JOSEPH D. KAZNOWSKI (Cary) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Mr. Kaznowski effective February 26, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Kaznowski managed a residential property without the knowledge of the firm where he was associated or its broker-in-charge, and did not maintain a trust account for the handling of the funds he collected, instead depositing them in the account of an unlicensed corporation under his control. The Commission also found that Mr. Kaznowski failed to turn over at least $8,600 to the property owner, failed to account to the tenants for their $2,000 tenant security deposit, and failed to provide to the Commission trust account and other records pertaining to his management of the property. Finally, the Commission found that Mr. Kaznowski was convicted in 1998 and again in 2000 of Driving While Impaired (DWI),and failed to report the convictions to the Commission.

SAMUEL C. LAVERGNE (Charlotte) – The Commission accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of the broker license of Mr. Lavergne effective February 26, 2007. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Mr. Lavergne had violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Mr. Lavergne neither admitted nor denied misconduct.

RICHARD A. MAKEPEACE (Cashiers) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Makepeace for a period of five years effective April 1, 2007. The Commission found that that Mr. Makepeace contracted to purchase for full price two parcels of real property listed for sale;  before closing, he learned the value of the two parcels was significantly more than the list/contract price and failed to disclose the value of the property to his seller/clients. The Commission also found that Mr. Makepeace, prior to closing, received an offer to purchase one of the lots for a price significantly more than he agreed to pay for both lots and failed to disclose this offer to his seller clients. Finally, the Commission found that Mr. Makepeace used simultaneous closings and a straw buyer to purchase both lots from the sellers at the lower price and sell one lot to the true buyer for a significant profit.

LINDA DIANE MARTIN (Banner Elk) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Martin for a period of six months effective June 1, 2007. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period of six months under certain conditions. The Commission found that Ms. Martin managed a rental condominium unit for a client and failed to discover significant damage to the unit by tenants, failed to renew a co-sign agreement despite the tenant’s erratic payment history, and used security deposit funds to make up a rent shortage without obtaining permission from the owner. The Commission also found that after the management agreement ended, Ms. Martin directed a payment due the owner be sent to herself and failed to release the funds to the owner for several months.

SHERRON MCNEIL-MOBLEY (Charlotte) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. McNeil-Mobley for a period of six months effective January 1, 2007. The Commission found that Ms. McNeil-Mobley, acting as a buyer-agent, engaged an unlicensed person associated with a mortgage firm to show a buyer properties for sale and to assist the buyer in negotiating an offer to purchase a house and lot. Further, the Commission found that when the transaction did not close, the unlicensed person arranged to have another person acquire the property without informing the seller or the seller’s agent.

JOHN S. MCQUEEN (Huntersville) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. McQueen for a period of one year effective January 1, 2007. Ninety days of the suspension were active with the remainder stayed for a probationary term. The Commission found that Mr. McQueen acted as a buyer agent and could not supply the Commission with a copy of any written buyer agency agreement or agency disclosure. The Commission also found that Mr. McQueen agreed to buy out the buyer’s lease upon her purchase of a particular property, a payment not permitted by the buyer’s lender in the transaction, and had the closing attorney’s paralegal note the payment on her copy of the closing statement, which was not supplied to the lender. The Commission noted that Mr. McQueen subsequently paid a portion, but not all, of the money to the buyer’s former landlord.

RICHARD C. MILLER (Harbinger) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the broker license of Mr. Miller for a period of two years effective March 1, 2007. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Mr. Miller violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Mr. Miller neither admitted nor denied misconduct.

MOUNTAIN RETREATS REALTY, INC. (Banner Elk) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the firm license of Mountain Retreats Realty for a period of six months effective June 1, 2007. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period of six months. The Commission found that Mountain Retreats Realty managed a rental condominium unit for a client and failed to discover significant damage to the unit by tenants, failed to renew a co-sign agreement despite the tenant’s erratic payment history, and used security deposit funds to make up a rent shortage without obtaining permission from the owner. The Commission also found that after the management agreement ended, Mountain Retreats Realty directed a payment due the owner be sent to itself and failed to release the funds to the owner for several months.

BETTY H. NANTZ (Mount Pleasant) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Ms. Nantz effective March 5, 2007. The Commission found that Ms. Nantz’s real estate appraiser certificate was revoked by the North Carolina Appraisal Board in 2004 and that the Board’s decision was upheld in Superior Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals. The Commission further found that the Board’s decision was based in part upon a finding that Ms. Nantz communicated appraisals in a fraudulent manner.

CYNTHIA A. NEWSOME (Grandy) – The Commission revoked the broker license of Ms. Newsome effective February 20, 2007. The Commission found that Ms. Newsome failed, within a reasonable time, to account for and remit trust money coming into her possession which belonged to others. The Commission also found that Ms. Newsome failed to keep adequate journals and ledgers or to reconcile them to her bank statements or to otherwise maintain adequate records of the transactions she handled for others. Further, the Commission found that Ms. Newsome was convicted of writing worthless checks, commingled money of her principals with her own and failed to maintain and deposit in a trust or escrow account all money she received as a real estate licensee. Finally, the Commission found that Ms. Newsome failed to make  records available to the Commission for inspection and failed, as broker-in-charge of her firm, to properly maintain the trust or escrow account of the firm and the records pertaining thereto.

HEATHER NICHOLAS (Hampstead) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Ms. Nicholas effective February 26, 2007. The Commission found that Ms. Nicholas, as broker-in-charge of a real estate brokerage firm, failed to ensure that deposit tickets adequately described the transaction in question, made no effort to review or oversee trust account procedures, and failed to detect significant trust account problems and shortages.

SHARON LEE PERKINS (Wilmington) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Perkins for a period of one year effective February 26, 2007. The Commission then stayed the suspension and placed Ms. Perkins on probation. The Commission found that Ms. Perkins was convicted of Driving While Impaired (DWI) in July, 2006 and failed to report the conviction to the Commission within 60 days as required by Commission rule. The Commission noted that Ms. Perkins was convicted of Driving While License Revoked in October, 2006, and reported this conviction to the Commission as required.

JAMES V. PHIPPS (Sparta) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Phipps for a period of two years effective April 1, 2007. Ninety days of the suspension are to be active with the remainder stayed for a probationary period of two years. The Commission found that Mr. Phipps failed to disclose on his 1994 license application various criminal convictions. The Commission also found that Mr. Phipps was convicted of seven more criminal offenses after being licensed as a broker and failed to report these convictions to the Commission despite the fact that he was required to do so.

JOSEPH S. REOPELLE (Raleigh) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Reopelle for a period of two years effective April 1, 2007. Six months of the suspension were to be active with the remainder stayed for a probationary term. The Commission found that Mr. Reopelle failed to disclose various felony convictions in Alamance and Wake Counties’ courts between 2003 and 2004 as required by Commission rules.

GEOFFREY MICHAEL ROGERS (Newport) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the broker license of Mr. Rogers for a period of five years effective February 1, 2007. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Mr. Rogers violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Mr. Rogers neither admitted nor denied misconduct.

TERRY W. ROGERS (Youngsville) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Mr. Rogers effective May 1, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Rogers failed to respond to a Letter of Inquiry from the Commission regarding a complaint by potential buyers of a VA foreclosure property when their offer was not accepted by the VA.

JOAN ELLEN RUSSELL (Asheville) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Russell for a period of 12 months effective June 10, 2007. The Commission then stayed the suspension under certain conditions. The Commission found that Ms. Russell, acting as rental agent for the owner of a residential property, failed to obtain a written management agreement from the landlord, leased the property to tenants without performing a thorough investigation of their backgrounds, and collected a smaller security deposit than the landlord required.

RUSSELL PROPERTIES OF NC, INC. (Asheville) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Russell Properties effective July 1, 2007. The Commission found that Russell Properties, acting as rental agent for the owner of a residential property, failed to obtain a written management agreement from the landlord, leased the property to tenants without performing a thorough investigation of their backgrounds, and collected a smaller security deposit than the landlord required.

SEASIDE REALTY, INC. (Kitty Hawk) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the firm license of Seaside Realty for a period of two years effective March 2, 2007. The Commission then stayed the suspension under certain conditions. The Commission found that Seaside Realty failed to accurately calculate earned commissions withdrawn from client monies in the firm’s trust accounts, was unable to calculate accurate trial balances and was required to adjust commission payments to bring the trust account books and records into balance. The Commission noted that no client or customer suffered any loss or inconvenience.

MARK K. SELLERS (Raleigh) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the broker license of Mr. Sellers for a period of five years effective May 1, 2007. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Mr. Sellers violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Mr. Sellers neither admitted nor denied misconduct.

SOUTHCREEK LLC d/b/a/ SOUTHCREEK PROPERTIES (Burlington) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the firm license of Southcreek LLC effective May 1, 2007. The Commission found that Southcreek LLC, which managed a homeowners association, failed to keep the association’s funds in a trust account and also made unauthorized transfers of funds from the association’s deposit account.

ROBERT E. TAYLOR (Newland) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Mr. Taylor effective May 1, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Taylor failed to disclose on his 1999 salesperson license application convictions of a number of offenses against persons, property and the public peace. The Commission also found that Mr. Taylor, who was Clerk of Court of Avery County from 1984 until 2006, was convicted in 2006 of obstruction of justice and willfully failing to discharge his public duties.

DONNA TULL (Surf City) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Tull for a period of 90 days effective March 1, 2007. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period of one year. The Commission found that Ms. Tull, as broker-in-charge of a real estate brokerage firm, made no effort to review or oversee trust account procedures and therefore failed to detect significant trust account problems and shortages.

THOMAS R. VALENT (Summerfield) – By Consent, the Commission revoked the broker license of Mr. Valent effective June 1, 2007. The Commission found that Mr. Valent failed to account for and deposit and maintain rents and security deposits belonging to his clients and their tenants in a trust account in accordance with Commission rules

JAMES ALSTON WEBB (Durham) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. Webb for a period of five years effective March 15, 2007. Three years of the suspension are to be active with the remainder stayed for a probationary period of two years under certain conditions. The Commission found that Mr. Webb was licensed as a salesperson in 2003 on probationary status following his disclosure of various past convictions, and while on probation with the Commission, was convicted in August, 2006, of Carrying a Concealed Weapon, and sentenced to 20 days in prison, suspended for 12 months’ unsupervised probation. The Commission noted that Mr. Webb disclosed the conviction as required.

This article came from the June 2007-Vol38-1 edition of the bulletin.