B.C. real estate agent suspended for falsifying signature of mother’s dead boyfriend

A Vancouver real estate agent has been suspended for three months after admitting to falsifying the signature of her mother’s secret boyfriend on documents related to a condo deal in the days after he died. 

According to a consent order posted on the website of B.C.’s Financial Services Authority, Renee Genieve Doe Wei (Genie) Lam claimed her mother, known as C.L., and her mother’s boyfriend, known as H.L., inked an agreement transferring the right to buy a condo months before his sudden death in August 2016.

But Lam claimed she lost that piece of paper, and in her desire to honour both the secrecy of the relationship and H.L.’s wish that C.L. should own the property, she created a new agreement — with a fake signature.

“Ms. Lam describes H.L.’s death as traumatizing to both her and C.L.,” the document reads.

“She was emotionally distraught at the time.”

‘Worried his family would discover the relationship’

In addition to the three-month suspension, Lam also has to pay $7,500 and successfully complete a course on ethics in business practice.

The consent order details a “mutual and loving relationship” between C.L. and H.L. that first developed in 2013. Lam called H.L. “Uncle H.”

Her mother bought a two-bedroom unit in a Richmond condo complex in 2013. The boyfriend decided to buy a unit in the same building in 2016 for the pair of them to use together.

The disciplinary document says H.L. ultimately planned to assign the right to buy his condo to Lam’s mother, writing her a cheque for $320,000 on Aug. 24 — just two days before he died.

“H.L. died on Aug. 26, 2016. Ms. Lam says he was at C.L.’s residence and was feeling sick. He refused to go to the hospital because he worried his family would discover the relationship with C.L.,” the consent order days.

“He laid down for a nap and did not wake up. Ms. Lam arrived at C.L.’s residence when emergency services were there.”

Lam claimed the agreement her mother and her boyfriend signed prior to his death must have been lost when her mother moved. 

She falsified his signature on a new agreement — dated Sept. 8, 2016 — which said she was acting as a dual agent for C.L. and H.L. and assigned the rights to buy the condo.

She also told the developer who had to consent to the deal that “H.L. was her uncle and C.L. was her aunt and that H.L. was out of town, implying that he was not deceased.”

The property was transferred to Lam’s mother’s name in October 2016. Two days later, H.L.’s estate filed a civil suit against Lam’s mother in B.C. Supreme Court.

The suit would later name Lam as a defendant. It was dismissed in 2019 as the result of a confidential settlement.

The regulator noted that Lam didn’t make any money off the deal and had admitted the “core conduct.” The completion of the purchase agreement came out of funds that H.L. had given her mother.

The consent order points out that Lam’s actions occurred before amendments that “substantially increase the available penalty ranges.”

As a result, Lam was disciplined under the old regime.

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