Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Tribunal finds against agent

Rajneel Raj. Photo / Supplied
Rajneel Raj. Photo / Supplied

All six charges have been proved against former Auckland Re/Max real estate agent Rajneel Raj.

The Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal found Raj and his associates made $189,000 from offending. He committed forgery, made profits from the onsale of South and West Auckland properties and via loans officer Vinod Rathore, deceived the BNZ into loaning 100 per cent on properties where it thought it was only loaning 80 per cent.

"We consider that the defendant's offences are the most serious kind likely to come before the tribunal," said the authority, chaired by Judge Paul Barber.

The agent, who worked for Re/Max Henderson Valley, was found guilty of misconduct over the way he handled sales of properties in South and West Auckland. He once worked for Barfoot & Thompson where he was also subject to earlier judicial proceedings.

In the latest case, he used his mother's name on deals he stood to gain from financially, committed forgery, indulged in mortgage ramping and even lived in a house he was selling.

The tribunal said his offending was wilful, reckless and extremely serious.

"The scheme involved Raj using a person connected to him to purchase a property from a genuine vendor and then immediately onselling the property at a higher price to a genuine purchaser. On settlement, the difference between the original price and the onsale price would be kept by Raj or his associates," the tribunal found.

People without a deposit and desperate to buy came to Raj, who failed to appear at the hearing last month.

"Key to the scheme was that the purchasers were assisted in obtaining mortgages to fund their purchase by Raj. A BNZ bank loans officer was also involved in the scheme," the tribunal said. "Non-disclosure of financial benefit was a deliberate part of the fraudulent scheme."

Luke Clancy, prosecuting for the Real Estate Agents Authority, sought a separate hearing for sentencing and the tribunal agreed.

- NZ Herald

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