Two unlicensed real estate brokers are in trouble with the law again.
Kevin Kumar and Derek Johnson already served time in an Alberta jail for ignoring a court order barring them from brokering real estate transactions after it was found the pair have a checkered past replete with fishy real estate deals.
Johnson and Kumar are back in the law’s crosshairs after allegedly defrauding a couple of Kelowna residents out of thousands of dollars. They’re charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 over transgressions alleged to have occurred between 2015 and 2016.
Shelli Cohen, a Kelowna resident, responded to a Kijiji add the accused placed in 2015, in which the two sought home sellers in a bid to privately connect them with buyers who couldn’t qualify for conventional mortgages.
"They basically called it creative real estate or creative financing, in which their goal was to find people who were selling their homes privately and connect them with buyers that could not qualify for conventional mortgages and then they would use investors that would facilitate a transaction," Cohen told CBC.
Cohen eventually received a phone call from somebody who revealed the accused’s pasts, but by then she had already invested $12,500. When she tried pulling out of the deal without interest, Johnson and Kumar refused to release her.
Cohen also found out that the home she thought she invested in was sold without Kumar nor Johnson’s involvement.
She tried to get her money out of the deal without interest but says they both refused.
Cohen said she then learned the home sale her money was supposed to be invested in went ahead, allegedly, without Johnson or Kumar's involvement. She told CBC, “As you can imagine, I was very distraught about it. I blame myself for falling for this."
Cohen then informed the RCMP.
British Columbia’s real estate regulatory body put advisories out last year that encouraged wariness of unlicensed brokers, and it highlighted websites Johnson and Kumar used.
According to the CBC report, Johnson intends to plead not guilty, while Kumar’s residency is unknown.
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