California brokerage navigates scandal under new leadership

Former Lyon Real Estate CEO pleads guilty to secret videotapings

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One of California’s largest real estate brokerages, Sacramento-based Lyon Real Estate, is moving forward under new leadership after its former CEO pleaded guilty to charges related to video recordings he made of encounters with four prostitutes without the women’s consent.

Michael Patrick Lyon, who stepped down as CEO of Lyon Real Estate in September, was sentenced to two years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to four felony counts of electronic eavesdropping. The sentence was suspended and he could serve a one-year jail term under house arrest or at the county jail, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Lyon, 55, took a leave of absence from Lyon Real Estate in September, amid allegations that he had made secret video recordings of guests at several properties he owns using hidden cameras in bedrooms and bathrooms.

Three weeks later, former Alain Pinel Realtors President Larry Knapp took over as CEO of the brokerage, and Lyon transferred his shares in the company to a trust benefiting his children.