BOSTON (CBS) – Nobody has to tell you that the real estate market is tough these days…but imagine putting down a deposit on a property only to have your real estate agent steal your money.
Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve has exclusive details concerning one sales person now facing several complaints.
Realtor Sarah Lederman-Scali is not doing any more deals these days. That is because a lot money is missing.
For six years Lederman-Scali sold real estate in down town Boston when the market was hot. Now it is cold.
Documents obtained by WBZ show the state took the unusual step of ordering her to immediately surrender her real estate license.
George Weber is the Director of the State Division of Professional Licensure. He calls this case a “nightmare for consumers.”
He says “tens of thousands of dollars” are missing.
“The allegations are that this individual was taking deposits and if the transaction did go thru she was not returning the deposits.”
Sales persons like Lederman-Scali legally are not supposed to deposit checks for pending transactions. That is only to be done by the agency owner or broker.
Attorney Richard Lynds represents a Winthrop resident who was trying to buy two properties in Winthrop one year ago. When the deals fell apart Lederman-Scali began writing him bad checks.
“So has this created a hardship for your client?”
Lynds’ response. “Yes…$10,000.00 is a lot of money!”
“As far as consumers having trust in the industry… it is a sad day when a real estate agent takes money and does not return it when they are supposed to.”
While Lederman- Scali lists an office in Boston’s North End…it is now closed.
We then went to her home in Winthrop where Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve spoke briefly to her mother.
Shortsleeve asks “I am here to confirm that they took away her license yesterday?”
“…that is correct.”
Shortsleeve asks “is she going to try and pay back the people she owes money to?”
“Yes, of course she is!”
The state says it is investigating four separate complaints against Lederman-Scali. Her family tells WBZ she is the victim of bad decisions in a bad real estate market.
The State Division of Professional Licensure will hold a hearing next Tuesday to determine if Lederman-Scali should lose here license permanently.