A real estate agent guilty of forging signatures for a second time has been suspended for six months.
However, just how much of a deterrent the penalty will have on Delawar Hoosain Kumandan is unclear as he is currently out of the country.
Kumandan was suspended for 12 months in 2013, while working for a different agency, after forging a solicitor's signature on two settlement notices to show a sale had taken place when it hadn't.
According to a just released Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal decision, Kumandan's latest offending saw him facing four charges of misconduct when he was employed as a licensed salesperson with Inia Sega, an agent who trades as Sega Realty. Sega's licence is currently voluntarily suspended.
Three charges related to Kumandan's actions in buying and selling a number of properties in Tokoroa. A common theme was that the transactions were on-sold with "contemporaneous settlement dates, with the transaction subject to finance".
The four properties were on sold for "significant" and "unexplained" percentage increases, the highest being as much as 59 per cent.
The fourth charge, which was eventually dismissed, was in regards to his "aggressive" behaviour when questioned by investigators.
Kumandan was acting in a dual capacity; signing the agreements on behalf of the vendor, a company called Dimegasy Ltd, and as a licencee representing the vendor.
He and the company's director, Eric Lloyd, had a number of previous business dealings, including Kumandan helping Lloyd sell the four properties at the centre of the charges.
While the Tribunal was given a copy of the power of attorney which Kumandan said he was acting on, it had been given no evidence to explain the price increases of the homes.
The tribunal found that even without proof the false signatures were designed to advance mortgage fraud scheme, the conduct was "serious in its own right".
"It is difficult to imagine any situation where the appending of a false signature could be seen as acceptable conduct on the part of the licensee.
"In our view it is self-evident that any reasonable licensee would take the view that the licensee doing so must either be seriously incompetent or to have gone about his/her tasks in a seriously negligent way."
Kumandan was also power of attorney for the director of Dimegasy Ltd.
He was eventually found guilty of one misconduct charge at a hearing in June in relation to his repeated failure to properly sign sale and purchase agreements in accordance with S19 of the Property Law Act.
In releasing its recent penalty decision, the Tribunal noted Kumandan's previous conviction and said that "Kumandan did not learn from this earlier appearance before the Tribunal".
"That would suggest that a substantial deterrent is required again on this occasion. The previous appearance is also relevant in that it would have left Mr Kumandan in no doubt about the seriousness with which producing misleading signatures of other parties is viewed."
The prosecuting body, the Real Estate Authority, recommended another suspension which was agreed by the Tribunal.
However, it noted while suspension had a deterrent effect, Kumandan was not currently in the country and his return "is under contest".
As well as a six month suspension, Kumandan was fined $7500.
Neither Kumandan or Sega could be reached for comment.