Real estate agent suspended after failing to tell buyers he was selling properties owned by his wife

A real estate agent has had his registration suspended after he forged documents and failed to disclose to buyers that his wife was the owner of three properties he was selling.

Daryl Scott Newis also found to have forged wife’s signature on documents

A Manitoba real estate agent was suspended after a discipline panel found he had forged signatures on documents and not been truthful to investigators. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

A real estate agent has had his registration suspended for a year after he forged documents and failed to disclose to buyers that his wife was the owner of three properties he was selling.

Daryl Scott Newis had his salesperson registration suspended in a decision by the Manitoba Securities Commission, which regulates real estate professionals in the province.

Newis admitted he committed a number of offences considered fraudulent under the Real Estate Brokers Act, the decision released last Friday says. The suspension took effect Nov. 27.

"The respondent's misconduct in this matter was very serious," the decision says. "He engaged in a pattern of wrongful conduct that continued over an extensive period of time. He was deceptive to numerous parties including the purchasers of the three properties, his employing broker, staff and the public."

At the time, Newis was working for Cornerstone Properties Inc., operating as Cornerstone Real Estate. Subsequently he was a salesperson at Century 21 Carrie Realty Ltd., the decision says. 

Newis was the listing agent for the three properties — one on Home Street, another on Simcoe Street and the third on McDermot Avenue.

For two of the properties, Newis went back to the buyers and had them sign documents saying they had been aware, prior to the transaction closing, that Newis's wife was the owner. But Newis "had not advised any of the purchasers of this fact prior to the closing of the transactions," the investigation found. 

The panel also found "he deprived the purchaser of the Home Street property of the opportunity to obtain her own agent who would act in her best interests."

Faulty roof, furnaces needed repair

There were additional problems with the Home Street property, the decision says. Although the real estate listing said it had two "newer furnaces," two "newer hot water tanks" and "a newer roof", that was found to be false. 

The buyer had an inspection done that found "there were sections of the roof which did not have any shingles, and that there were cedar shingles under the existing roof which would have to be removed," according to an agreed statement of facts. Roof repair quotes ranged from $5,250 to $6,500.

"One furnace was determined to be 23 years old and was shut down immediately as a crack was found in the cell. The second furnace was 21 years old, was extremely dirty and required cleaning," the statement said. "One hot water tank was determined to be 21 years old. The second hot water tank was only five years old, but was not installed to code." Replacement and repair of the furnace and hot water tank were estimated at $8,701.

After the securities commission began its investigation, Newis sent documents to investigators in which he forged the signature of his wife, the decision said. 

"The respondent had signed offers to purchase on each of the three properties as a witness to [his wife's] signatures. These three documents were not signed by [his wife]."

In his submission to the disciplinary panel, Newis described himself as a 50-year-old, sole breadwinner for his family who has been in real estate since he completed Grade 12.

'Genuinely remorseful'

He said he had taken full responsibility for his conduct, and his counsel noted that "he entered into an agreed statement of facts, saving the time and resources of a scheduled five-day hearing."

He submitted six letters of support from friends and colleagues, to show his conduct was "aberrant to his character". 

"The respondent is genuinely remorseful," the panel heard.

CBC News reached out to Newis for comment but did not get a reply. An official for Century 21 Carrie Realty declined to comment.

In addition to a 12-month suspension from being a real estate salesperson, Newis was ordered to take and pass all modules of the Manitoba real estate salesperson course and pay costs of $14,542.92 toward the disciplinary process.

After serving his suspension, Newis is ordered to serve a period of six months of strict supervision by his employing broker.

Forgery 'very serious transgression'

"As noted, forging documents is a very serious transgression. The industry cannot function if registrants are not honest and forthright in their dealings," the decision says.

"The panel is also very concerned that the respondent failed to truthfully answer questions put to him during the investigation…"

The decision concludes by noting that in response to a question from the disciplinary panel about why Newis acted as he did, a lawyer for Newis said the client had a "brain fart".

"Apart from the fact that the response is meaningless either medically or in law, it was a flippant response to a serious question in a hearing in which an individual's livelihood was at risk. If there was no legitimate response to the question counsel should have stated so," the decision said.

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