“You want to call this a tap on the wrist instead of a slap on the wrist?” That’s what Manhattan attorney Jeffrey Arouh had to say about Corcoran’s 2010 punishment when it was exposed that “79 brokers and agents — including several top producers at the firm — had licensing irregularities,” The Real Deal reported in March 2011. Corcoran quietly admitted to violating State of New York law in June 2010, signing a consent order and paying a $70,000 fine.

The couture firm acknowledged that “from the start of 2006 to the end of 2007, 44 of its approximately 900 agents were unlicensed” while another 17 were licensed, but not through Corcoran, and 18 more were working under names that were not licensed. The punishment became public close to a year later when The Real Deal requested a copy of the consent order from the Department of State. Questioned by the real-estate newspaper, Corcoran placed blame the errors on a clerical error; a company license coordinator “failed to diligently execute his responsibilities.”

Arouh, who was uninvolved with the case, but asked by the paper to comment, saw the punishment as weak:

I would say the state did not perform well here. It is a remarkably low penalty for violations like this because it meant they were collecting huge commissions and paying them and splitting them with unlicensed brokers.

The state began investigating after a 2006 complaint by co-op buyer Mimi Fuhrman alleged that Corcoran’s listing broker, Jeffrey Joseph, was not unlicensed.

Read the full story here.

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