For Immediate Release - March 16, 2005

State Board Takes Action Against Eight Real Estate Licensees

State Board Takes Action Against Eight Real Estate Licensees

The Division of Professional Licensure and the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons ("Board") recently issued disciplinary actions against five real estate brokers and three real estate salespersons.

"The purchase or sale of a home is a transaction that involves most families' greatest financial asset. This Board is committed to ensuring that brokers and salespeople act on behalf of consumers in accordance with its standards," said Anne L. Collins, Director of the Division of Professional Licensure.

The Board took action against the following licensees:

1.) Raymond Avis of Ashland: The Board revoked Avis' right to renew his real estate broker license. The Board contends that Avis failed to timely remit deposit funds, maintain deposits in an escrow account or keep proper records for escrow accounts.

2.) Eric Bellone of Westford: The Board entered into a consent agreement with Bellone, suspending his real estate broker license for ten days. Bellone was in violation of Board regulations by jointly owning a real estate business with a licensed real estate salesperson. Bellone also allegedly allowed a licensed salesperson to access and act as signatory on a client escrow account.

3.) Colleen M. Cappucci of Marlboro: The Board entered into a consent agreement with Cappucci, suspending her real estate broker license for ten days. Cappucci admitted that while licensed as a real estate salesperson, she was a signatory on a client escrow account and had access to client funds from that escrow account.

4.) Luten A. Greene of Mattapan: The Board issued a default judgment and final decision revoking Greene's real estate broker license. The Board contends that Greene made a substantial misrepresentation over the availability of a rental unit and failed to remit deposit money.

5.) Sandra J. Lee of Arlington: The Board issued a default judgment and final decision, revoking Lee's real estate salesperson license. Lee allegedly misrepresented herself as a licensed broker and engaged in real estate agent activity after her license as a salesperson had expired.

6.) Paul Blake Morley of Canton: The Board issued a default judgment and final decision, revoking Morley's right to renew his real estate broker license, which had expired. Morley failed to notify the Board of a criminal conviction within 30 days of that conviction.

7.) Arthur J. Pino of Andover: Pino surrendered his real estate broker license and his right to renew his real estate salesperson license. Pino failed to disclose on licensing applications a 1987 conviction in federal court.

8.) Christine L. Reese of Worcester: The Board entered into a consent agreement with Reese, suspending her real estate salesperson license for 15 days. Reese is alleged to have acted on behalf of a buyer and seller in the same transaction without their knowledge or consent. Reese also failed to provide the Board with written notice of her agency's dual role in representing both buyers and sellers.

The Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons licenses approximately 77,900 real estate agents and brokers throughout the Commonwealth. In fiscal year 2004, the Board received 294 new complaints and resolved 322 complaints. The Board entered into thirty-five consent agreements, suspended twenty-two licenses, accepted the voluntary surrender of eight licenses, revoked eighteen licenses and placed five licenses on probation. Disciplinary action taken by the Board also resulted in $18,800 in consumer refunds.

Consumers are urged to visit the Division of Professional Licensure's website at www.mass.gov/reg and select the "check a license" option to determine whether a professional they are considering doing business with is licensed and in good standing.

The Division of Professional Licensure is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. It is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the licensing process for 43 trades and professions regulated by 29 boards of registration, the updating and renewal of approximately 330,000 licenses and the maintenance of databases for licensing, enforcement and revenue collection. In fiscal year 2004, the Division of Professional Licensure imposed record levels of enforcement, including 829 disciplinary actions, $128,000 in fines and the return of more than $25,000 to consumers.