Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lawsuit: Real Agent Agent 'Misdirected' $1M In Downpayment Deposits Held In Escrow Belonging To At Least 15 Homebuyers

In Boca Raton, Florida, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:

  • Mizner Grande Realty of Boca Raton has filed a lawsuit against one of its former real estate agents for fraud and breach of contract, alleging he misdirected $1 million held in escrow for clients.

  • Delray Beach Police are investigating the allegations, said Sgt. Nicole Guerriero, a department spokeswoman. The agency has not made any arrests, and “we’re not releasing any information at this point,” she said.

  • In the lawsuit filed Dec. 2 in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, Mizner Grande said former agent Jon Rashotsky had clients put money in escrow accounts. Then Rashotsky instructed Boca Raton lawyer Edgar Benes to disburse the money to “third-party-held banks,” the lawsuit says.

  • Benes, the escrow agent, is not a defendant in the lawsuit.The suit says Rashotsky broke his agreement with Mizner by instructing the agent to disburse the money so he “could retain the escrowed funds to his own use.”

  • The payments were made without the knowledge of Rashotsky’s clients or other interested parties in the real estate transactions, the suit said. Benes distributed at least $1 million belonging to at least 15 clients, the suit said. The clients have made claims for return of the money, according to the suit. “We’re taking every legal recourse to obtain the money back for the victims,” said Ari Albinder, founding broker of Mizner Grande.

  • To cover up the missing money, “Rashotsky would make false representations to the clients regarding the status of their pending real estate transactions, which would often include complete fabrications of the existence of a negotiated agreement for the purchase of real estate,” the suit said.

For more, see Real estate firm: $1 million in homebuyer escrow payments missing.

See also, Boca News Now:


Anonymous said...

How could Premiere Real Estate let Jon Rashotsky currently work with them right now pending these serious allegations?. Do they want more victims ? I feel sorry for out of town folks that may not know the local story. They could get ripped off from this thief!

Anonymous said...

As of today, Jon Rashotsky is still showing homes in the Delray area. The police have not pressed charges. Edgar Benes' attorney sent a letter to the victims and used a nasty tone. They claim that the escrow agency is "not responsible for the safekeeping of their funds". They are also making an offer of fifty cents on the dollar to the victims. Then the victims must sign a gag order that they will not go after the alleged thief, Jon Rashotsky for the balance nor will they discuss this with anyone. Some of the victims have paid plenty to lawyers already just to get back what they gave Edgar Benes. Benes will not comment to the victims and never has. Mizner Grande claims not to be responsible for the stolen money as Rashotsky was a 'rogue agent' even though all listings and stationery have the Mizner logo.