Alberta fraudster highlights industry trust issues

by Olivia D'Orazio24 Dec 2014
The growing mob demanding persecution against an Alberta man targeting vulnerable individuals and illegally trading in real estate is, in fact, a fine reminder for agents to “do it right”.
“I've taken all my courses, have done roughly 1,000 transactions without problems, I have paid all my fees over the years, and done it the right way,” writes one anonymous commenter in the REP forum. “If you're going to do this as a business and career, do it right! If you're going to screw around and take advantage of people and risk their savings and lives, you should be in jail.”
Earlier this month, the Real Estate Council of Alberta brought a court-ordered injunction against Derek Johnson, who also goes by the name John Davis, demanding that he cease and desist trading in real estate and dealing in mortgages. Johnson is not licensed in either industry.
RECA first 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.
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."
For those reasons, agents are essentially unanimous in calling for a stiff sentence against the fraudster, pointing to the damage he’s undoubtedly done to a profession already struggling to maintain the public’s trust.
“Real estate trading is a profession and our clients need to be able to trust us and trust that we are, in fact, licensed and trained to properly represent their best interests,” writes another anonymous commenter in the forum. “This jerk has only his best interests at heart and doesn't care about anyone else.”


  • by Jackie Laurin 12/28/2014 4:00:14 PM

    It's about time unlicensed people are taken to task, get licensed to represent the public responsibly. We take all the necessary courses of licensing and are registered with the proper authorities to deal with the public monies and we are responsible for what we do and say and how we represent our services throughout a process of listing and selling. We as realtors have higher standards of ethics to follow and to answer to for our actions. I've been a licensed registered real estate broker for 41 years, I take this industry seriously and am passionate about what I do and have paid substantial investment in my industry year after year with Regulated professional boards, if anyone wants to do what we do. Pay your dues and get licensed and follow the same rules for the industry across the board.

    I speak for many that can't be bothered writing in "as what's the use" it starts with one voice and I hope for all my colleagues that have given your working life to t his industry, speak up! Let us make the difference.

    Jackie Laurin, Broker
    Coldwell Banker Sarazen Realty

  • by Brad Hall 12/28/2014 7:58:44 PM

    I am really proud of representing my Customers, Clients, Family and Friends in my new career as a Realtor with Remax in Victoria BC. Not only did I learn my many rules and regulations that are regulated by CREA, BCREA and our local VREB. I have also learned from my colleges, and the continuing education that is required to maintain our licence as Professional Realtors.
    I hope that other services such as Lawyers, Appraisers, Bank Loan officers, Mortgage Brokers, and Inspection company's would do the right thing and not support any person, group or company that was making false statements regarding there qualifications. It is with utmost urgency that all of us in this industry police and take action and report, any individual that is false representing their services in anyway

    Brad Hall
    Remax Camosun

  • by Kevin Peter Century 21 Dome Realty Inc. Regina Sk 1/2/2015 1:25:18 PM

    I agree with my 2 colleagues, with the frustration writing their thoughts in response to this article in Alberta previous to me. I enjoy this industry & opportunity and now in my 13th year as a REALTOR® and an active member with these 3 associations ARR, CREA, SREC, as well as a few other designations I've earned as a Real Estate Professional; Associate Broker, e-PRO®, ABR®, SRS as well as surviving in our very competitive environment as an excellent REALTOR®. Therefore, we as individual Professionals; REALTORS®, Lawyers, Appraisers, Bank Loan Officers, Mortgage Brokers, Inspection Professionals need to lobby and help the authorities, our Professional Associations, our Professional governing bodies to protect the public from these total self serving predictors and can not be held accountable by any of our Professional Associations or governing bodies! We all need to "ACT" smarter, just thinking smarter does't cut it!

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