Estate agent struck off after forgery

An Invercargill man who forged client signatures on official paperwork while working as a real estate agent has been deregistered.

Kevin Stevenson, who worked for Professionals Invercargill (MacPherson Realty) was found guilty by the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal in July of two charges of misconduct and one of unsatisfactory conduct.

In 2011, he was responsible for selling a house belonging to a fellow agent and her husband. During the sale process, the vendors complained their signatures had been forged on two documents.

MacPherson Realty manager Jon Irving took the documents to a forensic document examiner, who confirmed they had not been signed by the couple, and the signatures were probably Mr Stevenson's.

His contract was terminated and a complaint lodged with the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA).

Mr Stevenson did not give evidence to the tribunal. It relied on two interviews, including one in which he told an investigator he forged the documents for ''a bit of fun''.

After the hearing, Mr Stevenson and the REAA were invited to make submissions on what his penalty should be.

In its follow-up decision released on Wednesday, the tribunal said it had decided to cancel Mr Stevenson's registration and order him to pay $1683 in legal costs incurred by the vendors.

The forgeries were serious and deserving of condemnation, the tribunal said.

Mr Stevenson did not file any submissions to the tribunal on what his penalty should be. The tribunal said it had not fined him because it had no evidence about his financial circumstances except that he might now be working as a truck driver.

Mr Irving said he agreed with the judgement and was ''pleased the [complaints] system has worked effectively''.

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