CTV: Probe launched into alleged insider trading by B.C. real estate agents

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Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

From the article:

NDP housing critic David Eby claimed Monday that some real estate agents have been avoiding property transfer and capital gains taxes while exploiting a clause in contracts that allows for a series of home flips, increasing the final price by hundreds of thousands.

He also alleged that some real estate agents have been helping clients hide the foreign origins of money used in transactions by putting the broker’s location instead of the purchaser’s address on federal anti-money laundering forms.

“Both of these independent issues would be serious enough on their own,” Eby said at a news conference. “But together, with so many widespread reports coming from different sources, they lead us to the inevitable conclusion that oversight of the real estate industry in British Columbia is woefully inadequate.”

He said the province has fallen “asleep at the switch” and could be losing millions in tax revenue, while allowing realtors to have an unfair advantage in insider trading and defeat anti-money laundering protections.

“There are many Realtors who conduct themselves professionally … and are valued members of our communities,” he said. “Their reputations are directly impugned by this kind of conduct.”

Eby sent two letters in January to the Real Estate Council of B.C., which regulates licensed agents, after a real estate agent came forward as a whistleblower.

He outlined allegations that some agents and investors were exploiting a clause that permits contracts to be sold multiple times before the closing date.

Read the full article here: http://bc.ctvnews.ca/probe-launched-into-alleged-insider-trading-by-b-c-real-estate-agents-1.2769626