Realtor loses licence again over misappropriated funds
A Vancouver realtor has lost his licence for a second time after real estate authorities discovered he had misappropriated about half a million dollars in trust funds.
Sam Sharma's real estate licence was suspended indefinitely by the Real Estate Council of B.C. Wednesday, just days after his manager at Multiple Realty Ltd. told the council that money belonging to Sharma's clients may be missing.
"It's a very unfortunate situation," the council's Tyler Davis told CTV News. "The consumer interest must be paramount in this. We do not have any tolerance for misappropriation of trust funds -- nor do the consumers."
Sharma's licence was also cancelled for five years back in 2005 as a result of a number of infractions, including misappropriating buyers' deposits and forging clients' signatures. He pleaded guilty in court and was ordered to pay back $45,000 in money that was supposed to be in trust.
Sharma told CTV News that he's extremely remorseful and can't explain why he has such serious issues with money.
"I've been paying back creditors for the last two or three years, trying to please people, trying to make things right from my past, trying to put on a show of success," he said by phone.
"You're either really, really stupid to do this a second time, or I've got a very serious psychological problem with money."
The Real Estate Council says the clients whose funds were misappropriated will likely get their money back through a compensation fund that realtors contribute to. The council is asking any of Sharma's concerned clients to get in contact as the investigation is conducted.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Mi-Jung Lee