A longtime North Vancouver real estate agent has had his real estate licence suspended for nine months and been told to pay $39,000 in enforcement expenses plus a $7,500 fine after being found guilty last year of professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming a licensee.
A real estate council disciplinary committee handed down the penalty to Trevor Inglis and his company, Trevor Inglis Personal Real Estate Corporation.
The suspension will not go into effect, however, until after an appeal is heard.
The penalty follows a decision handed down by a Real Estate Council in August 2018 which found Inglis engaged in “deceptive dealing” by either faking or changing an offer to purchase his client’s property on Graveley Street in Pemberton Heights in 2013.
According to details of the case, Inglis was co-listing a property in October 2013 with another real estate agent, and had recently reduced the price to just under $1.2 million. When one prospective buyer emailed Inglis to say he’d like to make an offer for a lower amount, Inglis wrote back to say the owners weren’t interested and that other potential buyers had made an offer.
But when the co-listing real estate agent heard about that and asked for a copy of offers Inglis had received, she thought the documents he provided looked unusual.
She spoke to her managing broker – who called the real estate council.
The committee concluded Inglis had changed or made up an offer to create the impression that his story about receiving offers on the property was true, then later made “false statements” to the real estate council about it.
When Inglis found out about the investigation, he called the co-listing agent and left her a phone message, according to the panel’s written reasons, saying, “So if you really want to get blackballed you’ve gone to the right person because trust me I wield a bigger bat than you do.”
The message continued, “So you’re off my books as far as ever doing a deal. I will never, ever, ever process one of your offers ever. So you’re done.”
In its written reasons, the disciplinary committee concluded that while there has been no direct financial harm to the public, “the creation of a forged offer to purchase on the part of Mr. Inglis must be viewed as a serious misconduct rather than a minor technical error.”
The committee added that “it is self-evident that threatening retaliation against a co-listing agent for making a complaint is also very serious.”
In addition to the fines and suspension, Inglis was ordered to take two courses, “Ethics in Business Practice” and “Interpersonal Skills in the Workplace” to be completed before the end of the suspension.
Inglis’s lawyer Wes McMillan said Inglis is appealing the decision to the Financial Services Tribunal. While that appeal is outstanding, the penalty is suspended.