RECA brings court-ordered injunction against fake broker

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The Real Estate Council of Alberta has brought a court-ordered injunction against mortgage broker and Realtor, Derek Johnson, who is illegally trading in real estate.

The injunction orders Johnson, who also goes by the name John Davis, to cease and desist trading in real estate and dealing in mortgages. Johnson is not licensed in either industry. He was also ordered to pay $2,500 in fees and remove his websites and social media posts.

 Earlier this year, RECA promised to take further action against Johnson, who has not yet complied with any of RECA’s own cease-and-desist orders, or paid any RECA fines, which now total $65,000.

Johnson has been involved with a variety of real estate and mortgage companies, including, Free List Calgary, Partners in Success Mortgage and New Age Financing. None of these brands, however, are licensed to buy and sell real estate, or provide mortgages.

RECA fined Johnson a total of $50,000 on two separate charges of posing as an agent. He was also fined $15,000 for the same charge a year earlier.

Johnson hasn’t paid any of those fines, and based on his correspondence with other news organizations, he doesn’t intend to.

"The right to participate in contract and commerce is a fundamental human right," Johnson wrote in an email to the CBC in August.

However, Johnson appears to violate the rights of others, mainly targeting vulnerable people whose homes are in foreclosure.

 "We find it's for nefarious purposes, and that is that they want to generate cash flow," Charles Stevenson of RECA told the CBC. "If at all possible they'll find a way to steal identity, perpetrate mortgage fraud and move the people on through without their knowledge."
  • LanceH on 2014-12-17 2:19:59 PM

    I don't know if this guy's conduct is nefarious or not, but he's actually right about the freedom to do business. Here in Ont, I've heard respected lawyers say the same thing. For example, he doesn't have to follow RECA's rules, as he's not a member. When you sign up with say RECO here in Ontario, you sign something saying you agree to follow their rules, if you don't sign it, you don't have to. No one can force you to join an organization, and refusal to join an organization does not preclude you from doing business in this country.

  • MP on 2014-12-17 2:24:12 PM

    hahaha tell that to the Judge...People can say whatever they want but the law is the law!! Break it and pay the consequences.

  • LanceH on 2014-12-17 2:33:13 PM

    @MP. You laugh, but this is an issue about maintaining democracy. There are those that seek to control society through the side door. On our university campuses they use the same tactic, telling you you HAVE to join the Student's Assoc. That Association will then kick you out of school if you so much as say something they don't like. And in fact, the Student Assoc has nothing to do with you paying your acceptance and tuition. Still think it's a non-issue? It's one of the biggest issues in our society today, and nobody's even paying attention. It's the same with unions and many other situations. I notice how you say, "break the law and pay the consequences", what part of - there's no law that can force you to join an organization didn't you get? See how ingrained it is in your head? You thought an joining an organization and "the law" are one in the same. They have nothing to do with each other!

  • RECA Communications on 2014-12-17 2:51:58 PM

    @LanceH RECA isn't an optional 'membership' or trade association. It's a regulatory body. If you want to trade in real estate or deal in mortgages on behalf of others in Alberta, as defined by the Real Estate Act, you need a licence from RECA.

  • MP on 2014-12-17 2:54:17 PM

    The law I'm speaking of is being a licensed Realtor or Broker. That is the law i'm talking about!! Sure, you don't have to join any association unless it is mandatory for your license.

  • YYCBroker on 2014-12-17 5:48:59 PM

    Isn't it amazing how people who know nothing about provincial licensing regulations can expound with such authority and be totally wrong. Learn what the provincial real estate laws are and abide by them and you won't get into trouble. The laws are there to protect the public against unscrupulous individuals like Mr. Johnson and misinformed ones like LanceH. If Mr Johnson continues his present practices, hopefully he will end up in jail where he belongs until his legally imposed fines are paid.

  • MP on 2014-12-17 6:08:38 PM

    I hope he ends up in jail too!! Unbelievable!

  • @YYC on 2014-12-17 6:21:21 PM

    I believe it was Bob Aaron I saw expounding at length on this issue, that when you get into the real nitty gritty of it, the "regulators" are offside. You're assuming because you read something somewhere that sounds "official" it's "fact". As noted, I don't know if this guy did wrong or not, if so, he should be sued by the victims. No doubt you think because judges decide custody in Family Court they're within the law too - don't you? Did you know they're pretending the Human Rights Act doesn't apply to Family Law? That way they get make decisions, if they acknowledge it applies, there's no decision to be made, as the parents have equal right to raise the kids and the judge has no choice but to "order' shared parenting. This is a different sphere of law, I understand, but it's a great example, how our society has come to accept certain things that are in fact, way offside.

  • Bill on 2014-12-17 10:52:32 PM

    To Lance,
    This has nothing to do with maintaining democracy it has everything to do with protecting the public. Your argument makes as much sense as saying "to maintain democracy it's everyone's fundamental right to drive and therefore you can drive without a licence if you choose not to get one." That is basically saying that a person's rights are more important than the safety of the public. Reca is a regulatory body to protect the public from con men who are out to mislead the public and fraudulently line their own pockets.

  • bruce davison on 2014-12-18 9:28:14 AM

    Lance H - "no one can force you to join an association"
    I find it strange that legal counsel that you are quoting should say that they do not have to obey the rules of the law society, an association of lawyers in ontario?

  • @bruce on 2014-12-18 9:37:38 AM

    You think the law society creates our laws?????

  • bruce davison on 2014-12-18 11:16:55 AM

    The Law society, the OMA, judges and others, under law, are granted powers to administer the laws. Are you objecting to the laws or to the bodies or persons who administer the laws?

  • @bruce on 2014-12-18 11:22:27 AM

    I'm not objecting to anything. The character in the story is questioning the need to be affiliated with a particular organization to carry on business. I noted that some respected legal types are inclined to agree with him, and as such, he just MIGHT be right, and that I don't mind a non-conformist challenging the status quo. That's all.

  • @bruce on 2014-12-18 11:25:25 AM

    It's a freedom of (from) association issue, as this one that just came across my computer. . .

  • bruce davison on 2014-12-18 11:34:55 AM

    I guess our disagreement, if there is such, is with the word "organization" as you appear to see no difference between a school club, or an association of ontario beer lovers and a duly mandated ( and legal entity) whose role is to administer the laws as set out for that industry. We all have the right to object to the laws governing us, and even to say those governing us are wrong, but where there are rules and regulations established under law, we should attempt to obey them or correct them, not simply ignore them without consequence

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