Richmond Real Estate Professionals Hit with $300K in Fines in Fraudulent Property Sale

Real estate professionals and a brokerage are facing hefty fines totaling over $300,000 in connection to the unauthorized sale of an unoccupied residential property owned by Chinese businesswoman Yuan You, in Richmond, BC. 

The British Columbia Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) imposed the penalties following an investigation into the fraudulent 2019 transaction, which saw the property, initially purchased in 2004 for $783,177, sold for $1.7 million.

The investigation revealed that at least two individuals orchestrated the scam, with one posing as the property owner, using a fake driver’s license to obtain a notarized power of attorney, and the second impersonating an attorney to facilitate the sale. 

The company involved in the transaction, Pacific Evergreen Realty Ltd., received a $25,000 disciplinary penalty and $5,000 in enforcement expenses. They are mandated to submit a compliance plan outlining responses to potential fraud.

Individual fines were imposed on Tracy Xiaomei Li, representing the seller ($100,000 penalty and $7,000 in enforcement expenses); David Chian Wei Yang, representing the buyer ($50,000 penalty and $5,000 in enforcement expenses); and managing brokers Lok Chi Annie Fong and Lo-Ming Lee ($50,000 penalty each with $5,000 in enforcement expenses). Fong faces a six-month prohibition from being a managing broker, while Lee is barred from being the sole managing broker for one year.

The BCFSA ruled that while the involved parties were not complicit in the fraud, they neglected due diligence responsibilities, including insufficient verification of identification documents and failure to address red flags. Remedial education courses are also mandated for the individuals involved.

The case has spawned civil lawsuits and criminal charges. Richard Irvin Yeltatzie, accused of impersonating You, faces charges of fraud, impersonation, and using forged documents. A warrant for his arrest was issued in April after he failed to appear in court but he has yet to be arrested, according to The National Post.

The property, resold in 2020 for $2.15 million, is currently assessed at $2.75 million. Legal proceedings are ongoing, with You seeking to have her ownership reinstated through a BC Supreme Court judgment.

Information for this story was found via National Post, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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