Manitoba Securities Commission to hear condo trust fund allegations
CBC News
By Vera-Lynn Kubinec
18 Dec 2014

A Winnipeg property manager is facing allegations he used funds he should have held in trust to pay off a personal debt.

The Manitoba Securities Commission has scheduled a hearing for Jan. 14, 2015, to determine whether Robert Kraigsley misappropriated money from the trust account.

The hearing will also determine whether condominium owners who are out money will get some compensation.

Kraigsley was an official with Orange Properties (Man.) Ltd., which managed condominium corporations and individual condos for property owners when problems arose in 2007.

In its statement of allegations dated Nov. 27, 2014, the MSC said Orange Properties had been responsible for collecting rent on behalf of the property owners and putting it into a trust account.

Kraigsley managed the trust records for the account, the statement said.

But in 2007, commission staff found out that some property owners had stopped receiving monthly rent money.

An MSC investigation then found that Kraigsley or Orange Properties failed to maintain up-to-date records of the trust money. As a result, Orange Properties either owed money to, or overpaid, the property owners, the statement said.

Complaints filed over 'employee theft'

The number of property owners affected and the total amount of money unaccounted for is not specified by the MSC.

The commission does say that Orange Properties filed complaints with its insurance company and with Winnipeg police "for employee theft."

A police spokesperson confirmed that the information was reviewed, but said an investigation did not take place.

On Feb. 1, 2010, the company received an insurance settlement cheque for $24,340, the MSC statement said.

The statement also said the settlement funds were deposited against Kingsley's personal line of credit rather than into the broker's trust account.

Calls to Orange Properties by CBC News have not been returned.

The hearing will determine whether the property owners should be compensated out of the Real Estate Reimbursement Fund, a fund set up under Manitoba law to compensate consumers if real estate trust account money is misappropriated.

The real estate broker registration for Orange Properties expired in 2010, and since then the company and Kingsley have not been registered, an MSC spokesperson said.

The spokesperson explained that in order to make a claim against the reimbursement fund on behalf of the affected property owners, there must be a finding of fraud under the Real Estate Brokers Act.

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