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The ongoing battle between the failed real estate firm AllPro and its unpaid agents continues. Now, the Utah Division of Real Estate is getting involved.
Former AllPro real estate agents called on the division to investigate. "We would like the Division of Real Estate and those in charge of licensing to step up," said real estate agent Thomas Johnson.
Now, officials are stepping up. "We're taking these things very seriously. I don't view myself as someone saying, ‘Hey, we don't want to solve this,'" said Mark Steinagel, director of the Utah Division of Real Estate.
The main problem is this: the division has a regulation that states it will not entertain complaints between licensees regarding claims to commissions.
"We don't have the authority to look and ensure that they're paying that agent. We ensure that they're holding the public's money in trust, in accordance with the law," Steinagel said.
Steinagel confirmed the division is looking into other possible violations but cannot investigate what was done with the agents' commission money.
"It's about allowing them to open a new brokerage when they have truly defrauded many, many people," said real estate agent Libby Wilson.
Agents have also raised suspicions about the validity of a new brokerage called MyHouse Realty, owned by Jeremy Lyman. He's the son-in-law of AllPro's president, and agents say he was directly involved in the shady commissions process.
The Division of Real Estate says Lyman met the qualifications of honesty, truthfulness and integrity at the time.
"We have to evaluate on their merits. Has that broker applying for a license had any complaints filed against the? Have they done anything dishonest? Do they have a criminal background? New information is coming in from you and other sources today, and we may need to look into that," Steinagel said.
None of AllPro's brokers called us back today. The company still insists it failed because of the downturn in the market and is trying to find ways to pay back commissions.
The Division of Real Estate says it's in the process of moving pending AllPro deals to different brokers.