23. Forgery

CRC #586 Matter of DOS v. Sbarra, Consent Order - falsifying information in applying for mortgage; misrepresentation by omission of disqualifying information; invasion of client escrow accounts; commingling escrow deposits; forgery; 6-month suspension and fine of $10,000; upon timely payment, complaint in this matter and other matter (CRC #309) withdrawn and discontinued without prejudice

83 DOS 99 Matter of DOS v. Dhanraj - failure to appear at hearing; fraudulent practices; prior misconduct; forgery; unlicensed activity; ex parte hearing is permissible upon proof of proper service; conviction of felony (larceny in conducting real estate transactions) bars licensure as salesperson where no proof licensee has been granted an executive pardon, a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities, or C certificate of Good Conduct; licensee engaged in fraudulent practices by brokering transactions without the knowledge of his supervising broker and defrauding clients out of deposit money; unlawfully holding self out to be a real estate broker without first procuring a license therefore; use of a forged license is an aggravating factor; DOS fails to prove licensee conducted a regulated real estate transaction while not licensed to do so; salesperson’s license revoked

32 DOS 00 Matter of DOS v. Pahl - bad check; forgery; failure to cooperate with DOS investigation; restitution; salesperson commits conversion of funds forging client’s signature to a refund check; issuance of bad check for converted funds; fraudulent business practices; failure to cooperate with DOS investigation by failing to respond to investigator’s request letter; salesperson may be required to return money received to which she is not entitled; salesperson’s license revoked

7 DOS APP. 00 (189 DOS 99) Naftal v. DOS - altering co-brokerage information on a listing agreement; signing client’s name to change notifications reflecting extension agreements; submitting altered documents to DOS in the course of its investigation; unauthorized practice of law by preparing a lease between client and respective tenant; failure to deposit certain funds into an escrow account not mitigated nor excused because no party suffered financial harm as a result thereof; determination to suspend license for one year and order to refund the sum of $5,000.00 affirmed

599 DOS 00 Matter of DOS v. Ward - forgery; listing agreement; where evidence establishes that forgery of seller’s initials on part of the listing agreement occurred within the firm but fails to establish who committed such forgery, corporate broker is responsible for the acts committed by his salespersons within the actual or apparent scope of their authority and by the employee who affixed the forged initials to the listing agreement; such responsibility is shared by the corporate broker’s representative broker; use of a dollar amount, rather than a percentage of the selling price, causes the multiple page listing agreement to be vague, ambiguous and indefinite where only the first page was exhibited to the seller indicating a commission of 5% contrary to the second page which set forth a specific dollar amount which was 10% of the listing price; sales agent fined $500.00, corporate broker fined $750.00 and ordered to refund half of the commission

734 DOS 01 DOS v. Turyan - disclosure of agency relationships; business broker; a transaction that consists of negotiations and subsequent purchase of a business does not involve a regulated real estate activity; agency law forbids a fiduciary from acting concurrently as an agent for the seller and as the principal-buyer of the subject matter of the agency; agent must terminate the agency relationship before assuming the role of buyer of the subject matter of the agency; seller’s agent breaches fiduciary duty of confidentiality by disclosing to the buyer the price that the seller would accept below the asking price; broker misrepresents material existing facts which constitutes fraud; concealment of information which broker has a duty to communicate is misrepresentation when done with intent to defraud; where broker committed a fraudulent act, the broker necessarily engaged in a fraudulent practice; DOS fails to prove that broker engaged in forgery; Real Property Law §443 does not apply to a lease of commercial property or to a transaction that does not involve a regulated, real estate activity; brokers license revoked

13 DOS 01 Matter of DOS v. Parkin - forgery; fraudulent practices; jurisdiction; mortgage application; notarization; licensee demonstrates untrustworthiness by causing a deed bearing a forged signature to be recorded; licensee demonstrates untrustworthiness and incompetency by using various social security numbers other than his own on various documents prepared by him including license application, mortgage application and various bankruptcy petitions; failure to cooperate with DOS investigation by failing to supply requested and agreed to documents and lying to investigator about his knowledge of a fraudulent notary public; DOS retains jurisdiction where, although license has expired, two applications are pending, one for renewal and one for a new license; broker’s license revoked and pending applications denied

818 DOS 03 DOS v. Phifer - fraudulent practices; commission issues; forgery; associate broker commits gross act of dishonesty and commits fraudulent practice by attempting to steal a commission from her broker; departing associate broker who is going to set up her own firm advises salesperson not to inform broker of pending transaction and forges broker’s signature in an attempt to have commission check paid to her new firm; broker’s license revoked

645 DOS 04 DOS v. Pellegrino - advertising; forgery; proper business practices; salesperson received two commissions directly from person for whom she had arranged rental transactions; salesperson failed to follow her broker’s direction to have check returned and properly paid to broker; salesperson concealed one transaction from her broker; salesperson placed an advertisement for an apartment rental without the approval of her broker; salesperson forged tenant’s signature on agency disclosure form and notice to tenant; DOS fails to prove that salesperson wrongfully held herself out to be a real estate broker merely by the use of the term “Broker” in unauthorized advertisement as 19NYCRR 175.25 does not prohibit the placing of advertisements by salespersons; salesperson’s license revoked

719 DOS 05 DOS v. Choi - forgery; fraudulent practices; unlicensed activity; salesperson forged buyer’s name on two binders and repeatedly lied about the forgeries to DOS’s investigator; salesperson appeared at closing and asked the seller’s attorney to issue her a check for her share of the listing broker’s commission directly from the seller’s proceeds; salesperson acted and held herself out a real estate salesperson after her license had expired and prior to it’s renewal; salesperson engaged in fraudulent practices; salesperson’s license revoked.

764 DOS 05 DOS v. Lalla – disclosure of agency relationships; bad checks; deposits; forgery; unlicensed activity; salesperson offered for sale property which was not listed with her, failed to provide agency disclosure forms, breached her fiduciary duties to her client by having buyer issue deposit checks to an entity controlled by her sons and not to the owner, failed to provide buyers with a copy of the purchase contract, issued refund checks drawn on accounts with insufficient funds, engaged in a fraudulent practice by telling co-workers she would give them money to cover a check she issued to replace a deposit and then failed to do so, conducted a transaction without the knowledge of a supervising broker, failed to refund purchaser’s deposit money in a cancelled transaction, issued a deposit check on an account with insufficient funds, held herself out and acted as a real estate salesperson when not licensed to do so, failed to cooperate with DOS’s investigation by failing to meet or provide requested documents, and engaged in a fraudulent practice by submitting a renewal application containing the forged signature of her sponsoring broker; salesperson’s license revoked and directed to refund $15,000.00 deposit.

1008 DOS 06 Matter of Gold Star Homes – failure to provide agency disclosure, net listing, duty to supervise, allow unlicensed activity, unauthorized alteration of documents, refusal to release client from improper listing, failure to cooperate with DOS, egregious violation, revocation

591 DOS 07 Matter of Noonan- salesperson application for broker license denied; false and fraudulent documentation, forgery of essential signature; involvement in unlicensed brokerage business while unlicensed; failure to prove sufficient creditable experience; failure to cooperate

1245 DOS 07 Matter of Jerome- Salesperson, forged signature of broker regarding qualifying experience on application for broker’s license and on change of association card; failure to cooperate with investigation; revocation

1856 DOS 07 Matter of Hansraj- fraudulent practices; revised contracts without seller consent; failure to disclose payments; unearned commissions; deposits; revocation

1895 DOS 07 Matter of Veksler- unlicensed corporation; deposits; disclosure form; dual agents; fraud; failure to maintain records; forgery; revocation

2147 DOS 07 Matter of Sanchez- broker; renewal; alleged alteration of expired license; failure to appear; renewal denied

472 DOS 08 Matter of Abdullah – salesperson, forging of client name on §443 form; misrepresentation in activity as dual agent; revocation and restitution of $3,625 plus interest if ever reapply

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Fourth quarter Legal Lines now available

The fourth quarter 2019 edition of NYSAR’s Legal Lines is now available online at This edition covers new DOS proposed regulations, emotional support animals in housing, Landlord discrimination and more. Learn more