She’s such a bad Texas real estate agent that the state took her license and fined her $122k | Watchdog | Dallas News

She’s such a bad Texas real estate agent that the state took her license and fined her $122k | Watchdog | Dallas News

There are two women named Ashley Williams in the Dallas-Fort Worth real estate market. Let’s not confuse them.

One is the good Ashley Williams.

The other is the bad Ashley Williams.

The good Ashley G. Williams is an agent with Keller Williams Realty in the Arlington office. She’s in no trouble.

The bad Ashley E. Williams can be called bad because her Texas license as a real estate sales agent was revoked by the State of Texas.

In June, she was supposed to begin paying a $122,000 penalty for doing business with a suspended license and allegedly keeping almost half a million dollars from her real estate clients.

Pretty bad stuff.

The fine was levied by the Texas Real Estate Commission, which rarely pulls a license permanently and usually doesn’t fine its license holders more than $100,000.

The good Ashley says, “I’ve been confused with this agent for the last year and a half. Once I started getting calls meant for her, I started doing research on her. I’ve known for a while her license has been suspended.”

I found the good Ashley while looking for the bad Ashley. But I also found the bad Ashley. She denied the accusations against her.

In a four-minute phone conversation, Ashley Elizabeth Williams Creamer, 30, told me it wasn’t her fault she lost the state’s case against her. It was her lawyer’s fault.

“I hired an attorney who never responded” to the state’s allegations, she told me. “He did not even tell me when my hearing was … I definitely hired the wrong attorney.”

Her former lawyer disputes that.

Nile Bailey Copeland told The Watchdog he tried to represent her, but she failed to show up for her hearing.

“What I can say is, I was at the hearing,” he said. “She was aware of the hearing. She had notice, and she did not show up. There was no testimony from her.”

Since she was missing, she couldn’t provide evidence to support her innocence.

“Just like any trial, they present the evidence and if you’re not there to controvert the evidence, the judge has to move ahead with what they have,” the lawyer said.

At the end of our phone conversation, Ashley Williams referred me to two new lawyers she hired for further comment. I called them, but did not hear back.

What she did 

Here’s the scam she ran, according to case records.

Property owners hired her to be their property manager and collect rent from tenants, handle all maintenance chores and then give the landlords their money.

She was good at collecting the money but not so good at giving the landlords what they were owed.

Testimony from her former clients to state regulators showed that she kept the money, didn’t pay the landlords and made excuse after excuse.

The worst case I saw in the commission’s final order involved a landlord who claimed he lost $45,000 to her for properties he owns in Dallas, Grand Prairie, Sherman, Denison and elsewhere.

He told the commission she added an illegal 30% surcharge to the cost of repairs, and then didn’t do some of them. She took money anyway for phantom repairs and sometimes stiffed her contractor. She even stiffed her maintenance man.

She was no help during the investigation. She didn’t respond to questions from investigators.

The commission charged, “She repeatedly attempted to conceal and lie about the violations.”

Regulators stated in the final order that she was negligent, incompetent, dishonest and untrustworthy.

Records show commission leaders called an emergency meeting to suspend her license in 2018. She lost her license this year. 

Regulators stated her license had to be revoked to protect the public.

Text messages show excuses

One former client, Ronald Ward, showed me a text message exchange in which he tried to get his rent money.

“How am I supposed to pay the mortgage?” he pleaded at one point.

Her responses:

“I’ve been out with the flu.”

“Not at the office.”

“Once I get back, I’ll check.”

“[Bank] says it was kicked back for name not matching account.”

“I was admitted to the hospital Tuesday.”

Ward texted her: “This is all very fishy.”

She responded, “Nothing is fishy so stop saying that.”

Ward, a lawyer, took legal action against her — and won a settlement, he said.

What now?

The real estate commission has a recovery trust fund for victims, but it’s capped at $100,000 and that amount has apparently been distributed to several victims.

Others? They should file complaints with the Texas Attorney General and hope that the office is interested. I can find no ongoing criminal investigations into the missing money.

The $122,000 fine is high, her former lawyer Copeland said. “They were making the point for someone not to do this again.”

Watchdog tip: The Texas Real Estate Commission shares the following advice about hiring a property manager.

“This serves as an important reminder that Texans should always investigate any real estate service providers they engage or work with.

“Anyone can easily check out the official records of a real estate license holder online for free, using our license holder lookup tool and our disciplinary action tool.

“The agency encourages consumers to visit our website and to use these tools before hiring a real estate service provider in Texas.”

This content was originally published here.

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