Disciplinary actions: Real estate brokers and managing brokers

For details about many of these disciplinary actions, please see Search business and professional licenses.

February 2019

Tamberyne Bernard - Renton

  • Findings: Unprofessional Conduct – Created and submitted fraudulent real estate offers.
  • Actions:
    • Real Estate Broker License Revoked for 3 years.
    • Fined $7,500 due to the department in 6 months of reapplying and issuance of Broker's license.

January 2019

Rintha Knox - Pasco

  • Findings:
    • Unprofessional Conduct – Creation and recording of new easement while in last stages of Real Estate transaction.
    • Failed to inform the Complainants.
    • Attempted to record easement without the knowledge of the Complainants to bring a high value for high commission.
  • Action: Real Estate Broker License Revoked for 6 years.

December 2018

Denise Owen - Lynden

  • Findings: Unprofessional Conduct – Submitting fake offers to artificially escalate purchase price on homes.
  • Action: Real Estate Broker License Revoked for 10 years; and assessed a fine of $5,000.

Christopher Bierrum - Seattle

  • Findings: Unprofessional Conduct – Submitting fake offers to artificially escalate purchase price on homes.
  • Actions:
    • Real Estate Broker License Suspended for 5 years, with 3 months to be imposed beginning October 1, 2018 through January 1, 2019, with the remaining 4 years and 9 months to be stayed for a period of 5 years starting on October 1, 2018.
    • Pay a fine of $15,000 to the Department by March 1, 2019.
    • Can't apply for a Real Estate Managing Broker license during the 5 year stay.
    • Must be under heightened supervision by his Designated Broker or Branch Manager until January 21, 2021.
    • Must complete the education courses by October 1, 2019.

Brian Bragg - Wenatchee/Republic

  • Findings: Unprofessional Conduct – Forging signatures on real estate documents.
  • Action: Real Estate Broker License Revoked for 3 years

John B. Elliott - Tacoma

  • Findings: Unprofessional Conduct – Judgment for security deposits and lease agreements
  • Action: Real Estate Managing Broker License Revoked for 5 years.

November 2018

James Paul - Vancouver

  • Findings: Unprofessional Conduct - Convicted of theft in the first degree.
  • Action: Real Estate Broker License suspended for 1 year, all stayed for 3 years; must be under heightened supervision by his designated broker or branch manager for 2 years.

Stephanie Saelee - Seattle

  • Findings: Unprofessional Conduct - Failure to produce required continuing education certificates.
  • Action: Real Estate Managing Broker License suspended for 1 year, with 3 months imposed, with the remaining 9 months to be stayed for 3 years, and assessed a fine of $1,000 due in 6 months; and assessed a fine of $2,000 due in 90 days.

Julian Travis - Marysville

  • Findings: Unprofessional Conduct - Convicted of indecent liberties and third degree rape.
  • Action: Real Estate Broker License revoked for 5 years.

Debra J. Buffelen - North Bend

  • Findings: Unprofessional Conduct - Audit irregularities with trust accounts, recordkeeping issues, and mishandled property management deposits.
  • Actions: Real Estate Broker License suspended for 1 year, all stayed for period of 3 years; and must:
    • Pay a fine in the amount of $2,500 within 6 months from effective date of order.
    • Successfully complete a minimum of 3 hour continuing education course in Agency Law.
    • Have her property management agreement reviewed by a licensed Washington attorney within 3 months from the effective order.
    • Obtain at her own expense an accountant to conduct the following review of her property management firm’s accounting before January 31, 2019.
    • Reconcile all December 2018 firm bank statements with Respondent’s check register and client ledgers.
    • Conduct a random sample from 12 of Respondent’s current rental agreements to confirm the security deposits on the rental agreement matches the security deposit ledgers.
    • Ensure the accountant provides to the Department a copy of the firm’s reconciliation and copy of the list of 12 rental agreements reviewed on or before January 31, 2019.

October 2018

James Michael Hartford - Bellevue

  • Findings: Unprofessional Conduct - Entering a listed home without permission.
  • Action: Real Estate Broker License suspended for 1 year, all stayed for 3 years, and assessed a fine of $1,000 due in 6 months.

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