A West Vancouver real estate agent found guilty of professional misconduct for pressuring a seller into giving him a $75,000 bonus has been told to hand over his real estate licence for five years.
It’s the second time that Shahin Behroyan has been slapped with a penalty in connection with the sale of a $2.7-million home on Kings Avenue in November of 2014.
Behroyan received a one-year suspension in 2018 after the council found Behroyan guilty of professional misconduct for the same actions.
The penalty was increased after both Behroyan and the Real Estate Council appealed to the Financial Services Tribunal, which acts as an appeal body for Real Estate Council decisions.
The cancellation of Behroyan’s licence, however, will be suspended until the outcome of a second appeal launched by Behroyan.
According to details of the case set out in the decision by a Real Estate Council disciplinary panel, Behroyan was guilty of professional misconduct when he defrauded his own client by telling them falsely that the buyer’s agent would not present a full-price offer for their property unless they agreed to pay a $100,000 bonus.
Behroyan told the sellers “this was how properties with problems were sold,” according to the decision.
The sellers eventually paid a $75,000 bonus, which went to Behroyan rather than another agent, essentially doubling his commission on the sale.
Behroyan “deceived his own client to obtain a substantial financial benefit for himself, at his client’s expense. In other words, he defrauded his client,” according to the decision.
Behroyan, through his lawyer, asked for a much lower penalty, arguing that a reprimand should suffice - or at the most a one-month suspension of his licence.
Behroyan was a “youthful offender” having been licenced in real estate only five years at the time he asked for the bonus, described by his lawyer as “one isolated incident..., which has never been repeated.”
Behroyan’s lawyer also noted he has “already been publicly pilloried and, as such, substantially punished through extensive publicity....”
The real estate council didn’t agree, arguing Behroyan’s willingness to “defraud a client signals an issue concerning good character and suitability that represents a threat to the public, and a threat to public confidence in the real estate industry.”
In addition to the cancellation of his licence, Behroyan has been ordered to pay $50,000 in enforcement costs.
That penalty is also on hold pending his appeal.