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BCFSA Issues More Than $98k in Penalties for Unlicensed Real Estate Activity and Professional Misconduct

Freyja Prit provided real estate trading services while unlicensed, and Prit, along with her managing broker and brokerage, were found to have committed professional misconduct.

BC Financial Services Authority has levied discipline penalties and enforcement expenses totalling $98,468.89 against a real estate licensee, a managing broker, and a brokerage. The penalties are a result of an investigation revealing unlicensed activity when the licensee deliberately did not renew their licence for nearly three months, as well as professional misconduct.

Freyja Prit was unlicensed between July 5, 2018, to September 20, 2018. During the lapse in her licensing, Prit provided real estate services, and received commissions for the services, in relation to the purchase and sale of five properties and the lease of one property in B.C.

Prit committed professional conduct, while unlicensed, when she failed to:

  • Properly disclose in writing to a client whether she would represent them, contrary to the Real Estate Services Rules;
  • Keep her managing broker apprised of the real estate services and other activities she was performing; and
  • Comply with the requirements of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (“PCMLTFA”). Prit was required to verify the existence of her client’s company within 30 days, and take reasonable measures to determine if the client was acting on behalf of a third party.

Adelina Yin Ko was the managing broker of Cathay Pacific Realty Ltd., where Prit was previously licensed and became licensed again on September 21, 2018. Ko admitted to professional misconduct when she:

  • Failed to adequately supervise Prit;
  • Allowed commission fees to be paid to Prit for unlicensed transactions;
  • Failed to comply with PCMLTFA requirements; and
  • Failed to ensure the brokerage made a suspicious transaction report to the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (“FINTRAC”). At the time, Ko had within her knowledge, grounds for reasonable suspicion that the transactions were related to the commission or attempted commission of money laundering.

The brokerage also committed professional misconduct for allowing real estate transactions to occur through an unlicensed individual, paying out commissions to an unlicensed individual, and failing to provide and retain disclosures.

The disciplinary measures issued by BCFSA are reflective of the level of misconduct that occurred during these transactions. Prit’s unlicensed actions demonstrated an ongoing and intentional disregard for the regulatory regime, while the managing broker, the brokerage, and Prit showed disregard for federal anti-money laundering legislation.

The licensee, managing broker, and brokerage are subject to the following disciplinary actions:

  • Freyja Prit – must pay a discipline penalty of $58,500 and $12,724 in enforcement expenses. $23,500 of the $58,500 penalty was applied to account for the commissions Prit earned while disentitled to do so.
  • Adelina Yin Ko and Cathay Pacific Realty Ltd. – jointly and severally liable to pay a $20,000 monetary penalty and $3,000 in enforcement expenses.

In addition, the brokerage must disgorge $4,244.89 received for the unlicensed services Prit provided. Ko is required to complete the Broker’s Remedial Education and Anti-Money Laundering in Real Estate courses.

Media Contact: 
Kate Bilney 
Communications Manager, (778) 357-1634, [email protected]   
Visit: www.bcfsa.ca