Long-standing fraud allegations have finally come to a head for Wynn Realty Corporation. The Uxbridge-based brokerage was placed into receivership on October 25, more than two years after agents with the company reportedly swindled $1.9M in real estate deposits.
Alongside Wynn, the receivership order names Courtney Wallis Simpson (also known as Lynn Simpson) and her husband Kenneth Wayne Simpson (Broker of Record for Wynn) as the defendants.
A motion dated July 21, 2023, lays out the grounds for the order and states that, in the summer of 2021, Courtney Simpson “held herself out as a real estate agent” in order to compel the plaintiff — Realtrium Holdings Pickering Inc. — and a number of other victims to pay deposits for “purported commercial real estate transactions.”
Although those funds were conditional on due diligence and given with the expectation of being returnable to the issuers, they were immediately withdrawn from Wynn Realty’s trust account by the Simpsons and thereafter “misappropriated and/or converted.”
To date, the whereabouts of those deposits are unknown.
In the immediate aftermath of the fraud, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) issued both a Notice of Proposal to Revoke and an Immediate Suspension Order.
“All trading activities of Wynn Realty Corporation and Wayne Simpson must cease immediately,” stated a public advisory from RECO, dated June 25, 2021. “Wynn Realty Corporation failed to refund consumer deposits upon request, as required by [the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act]. Additional action may be taken.”
Also in June 2021, Realtrium and some of the victims — not all victims had been identified at that time — opted to pursue legal action against Wynn and the Simpsons on the grounds of “fraud and breach of trust and/or sought recovery of the respective deposits.” As a result, $800,000 in proceeds from the sale of a property owned by the Simpsons were awarded to the respective complainants.
As a result of October’s receivership order, Grant Thornton Limited has been appointed the receiver of all of the assets, undertakings, and properties of Wynn Realty Corporation, Courtney Simpson, and Wayne Simpson.
Although reports of companies facing receivership seem to be frequent news items these days, it’s worth noting that this is far from the Simpsons' first bout of bad press. Both Courtney and Kenneth Simpson have been embroiled in real estate-related fraud and forgery since the early 2000s, which eventually led to Courtney Simpson losing her real estate licence. She has also served five years of jail time after defrauding 60 people in a real estate investment scheme. Losses were in the ballpark of $15M and less than half of that was eventually recovered.