What is a “kick-back” ? The term refers to those receiving something of value from giving preference to a particular entity Congressmen have been accused of taking money “under the table”. Doctors have been accused of accepting compensation for prescribing certain drugs for a particular drug company. No one or industry appears to be unaffected by the practice and that also goes for the real estate industry.
Even in Oxnard, CA
Real Estate Agents have been found to be guiding buyers to certain lenders and in turn receiving something of value from those lenders for doing so. That practice is in essence a violation of state and federal commerce and trade laws and punishable by fine and/or the suspension or revocation of an agent’s license.
According to an article on Sapling.com “steering” is both illegal, unethical and forbidden by the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Real Estate Agents may offer information about lenders but they are not permitted to guide them to a particular financier.
Commerce laws dictate that fair and unbiased activity be allowed to function in a free and open market. Inhibiting or tampering with that process is a clear violation of law. As the old saying goes “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” But in this case there is no ignorance just willful disobedience to it.
A 10% award, for a whistle-blower, of a $5mm file is $500,000. That’s more than enough for your friend to turn you in.
In many cases whistle-blowers are responsible for discovering and turning in the guilty party or parties and in many cases they receive a reward for their efforts. Generally that reward is 10% of the fines levied against the violator which means the reward could be in the hundreds if not thousands. A hefty sum for helping to keep the wheels of commerce turning fairly.
There is another old saying that goes “Crime doesn’t pay.” However in some cases it does, just not for long.