Rogue BC mortgage broker busted for unlicensed activity

Broker earned $56k commission while unregistered

Rogue BC mortgage broker busted for unlicensed activity

A British Columbia mortgage broker, Styles William Stewart, raked in over $56,000 in commissions by illegally brokering mortgages for 24 properties across the province.

The BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) discovered that neither Stewart nor his company, First Expanse Financial Corp., was registered between July 2022 and February 2023, when these transactions took place.

Stewart's illicit activities came to light following his dismissal from an unnamed brokerage in November 2021 due to "serious regulatory breaches and secret commissions," according to the BCFSA.

Despite receiving a cease and desist order in February 2022 while under investigation, Stewart continued to operate under First Expanse Financial Corp., collecting at least $56,000 in commission from brokering mortgages for 24 properties across the province without a valid broker’s license.

Stewart had been licensed at an unnamed brokerage from 2008 until he was fired in November 2021 after an audit revealed "serious regulatory breaches and secret commissions."

Following his dismissal, Stewart formed First Expanse Financial Corp., which charged brokerage and lender fees without his employer’s knowledge. The BCFSA found that Stewart had attempted to transfer his registration to his company but was denied due to a failed suitability review.

Undeterred, he continued his unregistered practice, even using a false registration number and fabricated educational history on his paperwork.

"I am satisfied that this document was a fabrication, and that Mr. Stewart, in providing it to [a lender], was intending to hold himself out as a registered mortgage broker, when he knew he was not in fact registered," the regulator stated in its ruling.

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The regulator concluded that Stewart was "acutely aware" of his unregistered status and that the evidence "overwhelmingly" indicated his deliberate operation without a license.

While the BCFSA has determined Stewart's guilt, the penalty and fine for his actions will be decided at a later date.

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