Industry News

Prudential Locations settles kickback case for $48,000

HUD says Honolulu brokerage violated RESPA

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Prudential Locations LLC has agreed to pay $48,000 to settle a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development investigation into alleged kickbacks, the department said Tuesday. HUD said it found that Prudential's Honolulu real estate brokerage office leased a luxury car, offered vacations and provided other gifts to reward sales agents that referred business to an affiliated mortgage company in violation of Section 8 of the anti-kickback protections of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, known as RESPA. Prudential is affiliated with and has a financial interest in Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Hawaii LLC. HUD's investigation found that Prudential hosted a "First Annual Wells Fargo Friends Party" and invited only those sales agents that referred over $1 million in business to Wells Fargo, the department said. During the party, HUD alleged, Prudential sponsored a drawing to award a three-year lease of a Mercedes-Benz automobile to one of its agents. Prudential also provided real est...