This case examines a scenario where the agent was convicted of a felony. Pursuant to Board Regulations, it is a prohibited act to have been:
Convicted or found guilty regardless of the manner of adjudication in any jurisdiction of the United States of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, sexual offense, drug distribution or physical injury, or any felony, there being no appeal pending therefrom or the time for appeal having elapsed. Review of convictions shall be subject to the requirements of § 54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purposes of this subdivision;
A licensee convicted of a criminal offense as defined in the regulations must report the conviction to the Board. This case has a relatively light sanction but it is important to note the real estate licensee’s real estate license is currently inactive.
On March 3, 2021, the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation received a criminal Conviction Reporting Form from Eugenie Forship.
Ms. Forship was issued a real estate salesperson license on December 13, 1989.
In December 2020, Ms. Forship signed a Plea Agreement in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. In the Plea, Ms. Forship pled guilty to, “…knowing conspiring to knowingly execute a scheme or artifice to defraud financial institutions by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1349 and 1344.”
On May 10, 2021, Ms. Forship was sentenced to: 3 years of probation; 4 months of house detention; and ordered to pay a $100 assessment.
Ms. Forship reported to investigators that she was contacted by a man representing himself as Bradley Munch in 2018. They began an online relationship that turned into an amorous relationship. Mr. Munch led Ms. Forship to believe that he was wealthy, that he would marry her, and take care of her for the rest of her life. However, he stated that he had a problem, and his money was encumbered by the IRS for back taxes. He asked Ms. Forship to receive funds and then send them to him to get around the IRS Liens.
Ms. Forship began helping him with his fraudulent requests. She signed other people’s names to counterfeit checks provided to her by Mr. Munch and deposited the funds into her account. She also received wire transfers from individuals she did not know but accepted them because Mr. Munch told her to do so.
Ms. Forship then sent substantially all money to individuals as she was instructed to do by Mr. Munch. This continued until Ms. Forship had received and transferred to Mr. Munch funds totaling $195,000.00.
Ms. Forship explained that she was a victim of a check cashing scam and that she never actually received any of the money from the checks that were cashed. She was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
The Board determined that Ms. Forship was in violation of Board regulation and required her to complete at least three classroom hours of Board-approved Post-License education pertaining to Ethics and Standards of Conduct.
Published July 2022