Southern California Title Marketing Representative Agrees to Give Up License and Accept Lifetime Ban Following Accusation and $1 Million Penalty Against His Former Employer, First American Title Company
December 22, 2021 – LOS ANGELES – Title marketer Eugene “Gene” Bleecker has agreed to submit his registration certificate to the market title insurance company and accept an unlimited one Prohibited ever applying for another license from the California Department of Insurance to clear up allegations the Department made against him. In April 2021, the department alleged that Bleecker, a former First American Title Company employee, consistently violated incentives against the law by improperly influencing a network group that benefits real estate agents.
Earlier this year, the First American Title Company agreed to pay the department over $ 1 million for its role, which Bleecker’s involvement in the network group did not oversee.
“This lawsuit, against one of the most prominent title marketing representatives in the industry, should serve as a warning to anyone engaging in practices that violate California law and drive prices up for consumers.” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “My department is committed to vigorously investigating allegations of illegal incentives for brokerage of title deals that undermine fair competition.”
The ministry’s investigation found that Bleecker was inappropriately involved in a roughly 600-strong real estate network group called the Advisory Group Real Estate Network, which operates in the Santa Clarita, Antelope and San Fernando Valles. Bleecker was the only title marketer in the group, deciding when and where to start new chapters, and giving directions on everything from who would speak at meetings, to group events.
The research also found that group members received benefits such as custom video marketing, a touring coach trailer for viewing and promoting offers, social media training, and sales coaching. These advantages opened up the possibility of a consideration relationship with Bleecker due to his influence on the group. State law protects consumers from conflicts of interest in brokering property insurance, which can drive up the cost of real estate transactions.
As part of the assignment of his license, which will take effect on April 1, 2022, Bleecker did not admit the allegations in the indictment.