Real estate cheating scandal claims mortgage broker
Man who allegedly wrote licensing exam for Ryan Rana revealed; Rana on leave as 'special constable'
A bizarre B.C. real estate scandal has widened with the suspension of the mortgage broker who allegedly posed as Langley realtor Ryan Rana for his licensing exam.
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And the CBC has also learned that as a result of the allegations, Rana has been placed on administrative leave from his other job — as a provincial special constable at B.C.'s Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.
Ted Aulak aka Ryan Rana?
B.C.'s registrar of mortgage brokers suspended the registration of Indeep Singh Aulak after being contacted about the situation by the real estate council. Aulak's professional name is Ted.
The council claims Rana admitted to sending someone else to write the Real Estate Trading Services exam in his place last December.
According to an order posted on the Financial Institutions Commission website, investigators matched Aulak to photographs of the person who purported to be Rana for the purposes of writing the test.
The allegations come amidst wider concerns about regulation of the real estate industry in British Columbia. A number of scandals have emerged in recent months involving the actions of unscrupulous realtors driven by greed to cash in on the province's white hot market.
A panel of experts is currently considering, among other things, whether or not the industry should continue to be self-regulated.
Guarding the mentally ill
An archived copy of Rana's website describes the 25-year-old as having a "background in community law enforcement and public health care."
It turns out that he is a special constable at the Coquitlam Forensic Psychiatric Hospital which houses people who have been declared not criminally responsible for offences because of mental disorders.
Perhaps the facility's most notorious patient is Allan Schoenborn, a father who killed his three children in 2008. Controversy has surrounded the decision to allow him escorted outings into the community.
Special constables like Rana would be tasked with ensuring the security of patients and the public during the course of those outings.
A spokesperson with the Provincial Health Services Authority says Rana has been placed on leave with pay pending the outcome of the real estate council's regulatory process.
Referred to lawyer or notary for identity affidavit
Aulak's suspension order provides new details about the investigation into the impersonation.
The Sauder School of Business at the University of B.C. administers the licensing exams for both realtors and mortgage brokers. In order to take the test, candidates have to provide a form which includes a passport photo.
They also have to present other photo identification on the day of the exam.
The first time someone claiming to be Rana attempted to take the test last November, they were turned away because their appearance didn't match a driver's licence photograph.
"He was referred to a lawyer or a notary to get further assurance regarding his identity," the order says.
"The person who identified as Mr. Rana then provided Sauder with an affidavit."
A 'Ryan Rana' was then allowed to write the multiple choice exam in December and passed with a mark of 90 per cent.
According to the order, the passport photo submitted along with Aulak's exam shows him with a full beard and turban. The one attached to Rana's exam is clean shaven.
'The two photos were a likely match'
The allegations came to light when someone contacted the real estate council to say the person pictured on Rana's website was not the same person who wrote his licensing exam.
"The council advised that they conducted social media searches of Mr. Rana, and found that Mr. Aulak and Mr. Rana are friends on a social media website. The social media website depicted photos of Mr. Aulak," the order says.
"The council also engaged a private investigator who compared the social media photos to the Rana affidavit using photo matching software. The investigator determined that the two photos were a likely match."
Investigators also spoke to a Surrey photo studio proprietor who took the passport photo attached to Rana's real estate exam ticket. He provided a matching picture — "commissioned by a person with the last name of 'Aulakh'."
Rana received his real estate licence in February and Aulak was licensed as a mortgage broker in early April. According to the order, Rana's website refers to Aulak as a mortgage specialist.
Rana was also advertising a listing for a Surrey property owned by Aulak.
Both are suspended pending full disciplinary hearings of the allegations. Neither man could be reached for comment.