Licenses revoked for theft, trust account violations

By: Mark Abramson//October 20, 2015//

Licenses revoked for theft, trust account violations

By: Mark Abramson//October 20, 2015//

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The North Carolina Real Estate Commission has revoked the licenses of two area brokers, one of whom violated trust account rules and the other who pleaded guilty in the theft of property from homes that were on the market.

Karen Maready Corzine’s license was revoked after a commission auditor’s inspection revealed that she didn’t maintain real estate trust account records in accordance with the law and commission rules, a consent order dated Oct. 14 stated.

Corzine was broker-in-charge and owner of the property management company Raceway Real Estate Associates in Harrisburg. She managed single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes.

According to the commission, the liabilities on Corzine’s trust account exceeded the deposits by $131,000. Corzine is transferring most of her clients to another brokerage firm and has agreed to reimburse the trust account, the consent order stated.

The commission discovered the shortage in Corzine’s trust account during an inspection of her company’s records between May and July, the consent order indicated.

Corzine said in an interview that the problem with the trust account started about five years ago when one of her employees started sending tenants’ security deposits back to her landlord clients.  That caused the liabilities in the trust account to exceed the deposits by a little more than $167,000, she said.

Corzine said she covered about $33,000 of the trust account shortfall on her own; was able to recover $36,000 from the landlords; and is in the process of selling her business to an undisclosed buyer for $98,000 to cover the rest of the money.

Corzine said she recovered the money from the landlords by showing them that the money they received was from tenants’ security deposits and should have remained in the trust account.

“Nobody lost any money and that is the main thing. That is super important to me,” Corzine said.

The commission also revoked Wilburn Travis Van Hoy’s license for several thefts in Charlotte, according to a consent order dated Oct. 14. The order stated that Van Hoy made an appointment to view a home on Oct. 24, 2014, and took $36,000 worth of property, including an engagement band, a Cartier watch and diamond earrings.

Van Hoy worked for Charlotte Homes and Rentals until November 2014, said Janet Thoren, the commission’s director of regulatory affairs.

He could not be reached for comment.

The commission said Van Hoy also stole $15,600 worth of property from another home he viewed on Oct. 24, 2014, including a black mink coat, a diamond bracelet, a Rolex watch, a ring and prescription medication, a commission notice of hearing stated, and at other properties took a bracelet valued at $2,000, prescription medication, three fossilized shark teeth valued at $300;  and 16 silver coins valued at a total of $96.

Van Hoy was arrested Nov. 5, 2014, and admitted to stealing jewelry from at least 12 homes, the consent order stated.

Van Hoy pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts of larceny on March 19. He was sentenced to 45 days in prison, which was suspended, and is serving 18 months of supervised probation. He was also sentenced to 100 hours of community service and was ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution.

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