Real estate agent fakes signature
A real estate agent has been fined $5000 and had her licence suspended for three years for forging a sales agreement.
The Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal has found an Ashburton-based agent Julie Anne McDonald had faked the signature of a client, Rata Jared Kamau, on a listing agreement for his sick father's property.
Kamau was acting under power of attorney on behalf of his father Waddoup David Kamau, and the family had agreed the family home should be rented out and possibly sold at a later date, the tribunal said.
In February 2009 McDonald sent Rata Kamau a series of documents including an agency agreement for the sale of the home, which Rata Kamau did not sign because the family had decided not to sell the house at that time.
The next month a new power of attorney for Waddoup Kamau was granted to a local counsellor, Tony Vainerere, who engaged another real estate agent to help market and sell the property.
McDonald contacted Vainerere and produced what she claimed to be an agency agreement for the property signed by Rata Kamau, but Kamau said the signature was not his.
Through her solicitor, McDonald argued she had a claim to $9000 commission on the property and lodged a caveat against it.
The tribunal found McDonald had committed misconduct on three charges - forging the signature, using the forged document to claim a commission, and using it to lodge the caveat.
McDonald was found to have committed the less serious offence of unsatisfactory conduct on a fourth charge, her late payment of a bond paid by the property's tenants to the Department of Building and Housing.