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Court affirms steep penalty for realtor, calling case 'improper and unsupported attack' on regulator

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/B.C. Assessment

A B.C judge has slammed a Lower Mainland realtor saying she made an "improper and unsupported attack" on the real estate regulator after it fined her $8,000 and suspended her licence for two weeks, eight years ago.

According to a May 25 B.C. Supreme Court decision, realtor Cui Zhu Deng, who goes by the name Danielle Deng, accused the Real Estate Council of British Columbia of deliberately withholding documents, distorted facts and tampering with transcripts.

Deng also accused the Financial Services Tribunal of "fraud, theft, conspiracy" and deliberate misconduct.

The Financial Services Tribunal described the allegations as "frivolous and vexatious" and said much of the information put before the court was unnecessary and irrelevant.

B.C. Justice Justice Kenneth Ball agreed, saying that Deng's allegations were based on "unsworn evidence, or evidence which is immaterial, irrelevant, or hearsay."

The decision doesn't go into any details regarding any of the allegations.

The crux of the litigation dates back to 2013 when Deng was involved in selling a condo at a strata in Surrey.

Her prospective buyers were interested in an apartment that had an offer on it.

Because of the offer they then decided to put an offer on a different condo, which they didn't like as much, thinking the first condo wasn't available.

However, the offer fell through on the first condo, but Deng failed to tell them.

The couple launched a complaint with the Real Estate Council of British Columbia which later found Deng had failed to act in the best interests of her client and fined her $8,336 and suspended her licence for two weeks.

Deng decided to oppose the ruling and almost a decade after the event took place is still fighting it out in court.

She appealed the ruling saying the real estate committee had breached the duty of procedural fairness it owed her.

In 2018, she lost again but had her fine reduced to $5,000 and put on enhanced supervision for 12 months. But she was also now left to pay $50,285 in enforcement expenses.

READ MORE: 'Low-risk' Vernon real estate investment turns into 8-year court battle

Then she took the Financial Services Tribunal to the B.C. Supreme Court to appeal the penalty.

Deng sought an order for the Real Estate Council of British Columbia to provide the original transcripts from her hearings and alleged that the provided transcripts were not an accurate recording of the hearings.

The decision said Deng provided no evidence to back up her claim the transcripts were incomplete.

The case has passed through the courts and while Deng lost her appeals she did manage to get her enforcement expenses reduced in half to $25,142.

She has since filed more appeals asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Financial Services Tribunal dismissal of her appeal.

On May 4, she was back in court arguing about an amendment to her court filing.

However, Justice Ball said most of the allegations were beyond the scope of the court's jurisdiction.

"A number of allegations in the amended petition are irrelevant and immaterial to this review," Justice Ball said. "These include facts regarding (Deng) and her son’s extracurricular activities or (her) interactions with other clients."

The Justice said Deng's court filing was an "unsupported attack" on the Financial Services Tribunal which had acted fairly and with dignity throughout its dealings with her.

Deng lost this court proceeding and will now have to pay the court costs.

READ MORE: B.C. realtor ordered to pay $150K for forging signature

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