Ward, Cheryl D
Ward, Cheryl D | Principal Broker | Hardy, AR
07/26/2010 | Hearing No. 3101
In Formal Hearing # 3101 the Commission voted unanimously that Respondent Ward’s real estate license be revoked. Respondent Ward must receive permission from the Arkansas Real Estate Commission to obtain any type of real estate license from the Commission at any subsequent point and time. Respondent Ward was fined $500 per charge, for a total of $2,000, payable to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission within thirty (30) days of the date of the Order.
- The Commission found Respondent Ward guilty of violating Arkansas Code Annotated § 17-42-311(a) (6) and § 17-42-311(a) (13), and Commission Regulations 8.5(a) and 10.8(g)(1).
- Respondent delegated property management duties to an employee who did not hold a real estate license. Respondent authorized the employee to deposit and disburse rent proceeds to property management clients from Rapid Real Estate’s escrow account. Sometime in November 2008, the unlicensed employee notified Respondent Ward that she was terminating her employment.
- Respondent subsequently found that rental records were missing and that certain cash deposits received for rent and security deposits had not been deposited into the trust account. On December 01, 2008, Respondent reported the shortage to the Sharp County Sheriff’s Office. The unlicensed employee later died.
- Complainants Pruitt: Respondent managed two properties for Complainants Pruitt. The property located at 183 Hiawatha was leased to Terry Myers on November 14, 2008. Respondent Ward signed the Residential Lease/Rental Agreement. Paragraph 25, Special Conditions of the Agreement stated; “tenant is steam cleaning carpets & painting interior in lieu of $100.00 of the (security) deposit bringing the (security) deposit down to being $250.00, which will be paid on December 3, 2008.” The monthly rent was $425.00. Tenant Myers paid $240.00 cash to the unlicensed employee as “Rental Manager” as prorated rent for November 2008. The November 2008 rent of $240.00 was not deposited into the Respondent’s trust account and was not paid to Complainants Pruitt. On December 4, 2008, a General Addendum was prepared by Respondent and signed by tenant Terry Myers. The General Addendum changed the security deposit amount to $0. Complainants Pruitt did not authorize Respondent to reduce the security deposit to zero. On January 9, 2009 Respondent Ward transferred the management of the two properties to Ozark Gateway Realty, Cherokee Village, AR., without the consent of the Complainants.
- Complainant Rude: Respondent managed 17 properties for Complainant Rude from 2005 through January 07, 2009. During November 2008 Complainant Rude contacted a representative of Rapid Real Estate to report that his October 2008 rental proceeds were short. Complainant Rude requested that Respondent Ward provide books and records for his properties and an explanation regarding the October 2008 rent proceeds. Respondent Ward contacted Complainant Rude and stated that the unlicensed employee had stolen his rent proceeds, but she will get him paid back. On January 07, 2009, Respondent Ward transferred the management of Complainant Rude’s properties to Ozark Gateway Realty, Cherokee Village, AR., without owner consent. In the accounting document dated December 1, 2008 provided to the Sharp County Sherriff’s office, Respondent Ward indicated $9,565 was owed by Respondent Ward to individuals for whom her firm managed properties, including Complainants Pruitt and Rude. Respondent Ward stated in that document, “I still have more files to go through and several checks have not cleared the bank yet and (unlicensed employee) left me no journal of them.” Respondent Ward has not reimbursed any funds to Complainants Pruitt or Rude. Respondent Ward’s records did not reflect whether or not rents had been collected for December 2008 and January 2009 from Tenants of Complainants Pruitt’s and Complainant Rude’s Properties.
- An AREC Investigator located fifteen (15) checks totaling $5,382.27, payable to Complainant Rude written from Respondent’s escrow account. The checks signed by the unlicensed employee had not been sent to Complainant Rude. The investigator found three checks payable to the unlicensed employee, signed by the unlicensed employee, that had the three checks were written as follows: # 2840, in the amount of $500.00, dated September 09, 2008; check # 2859, in the amount of $500.00, dated September 22, 2008; and check # 2862, in the amount of $600.00, dated 9/28/2008.
- A Recovery Fund Hearing was held. “The Commission voted unanimously that Respondent Cheryl D. Ward pay the bankruptcy trustee, John C. Pringle $17,745.41, broken down as follows: $525.21 as part of the preparation, $670.89 in travel, $7,964.31 that accounts for rents received, but not paid over to the Complainant, and $8,585 of missing rents, for a total of $17,745.41.”