In June, a Kansas federal court upheld a jury verdict in which a real estate licensee was held 85 percent liable for losses incurred after a buyer’s money was sent to a fraudulent account for a closing.
In “Licensee Liable for Wire Fraud Losses,” the jury found that a buyer electronically transferred $196,622 using email instructions he believed was from the listing broker, the National Association of REALTORS® reported. The broker claimed she had not sent the instructions.
After the buyer transferred the money and discovered it was not retrievable, he filed a lawsuit against the broker and others.
The case revealed another party hacked the emails between the buyer and the broker, created fake email accounts similar to the legitimate ones, and then sent false wiring instructions to the buyer from the fake broker account. The jury ruled the broker was 85 percent liable for the loss and the court ordered the broker to pay $167,129.
For more details on this case, go to Bain v. Platinum Realty, LLC.