State orders local realty company to cease and desist - Tucson News Now

Rathbun Realty responds to cease and desist order

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Cassandra Arnold Cassandra Arnold
George Glover George Glover
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    Local realty employee suspected of embezzling

    Tuesday, September 4 2012 6:17 PM EDT2012-09-04 22:17:37 GMT
    There are reports of a large sum of money missing from a local realty company. The owners believe a trusted employee is the culprit. Tucson News Now received an email from a viewer alerting us that Rathbun
    There are reports of a large sum of money missing from a local realty company. The owners believe a trusted employee is the culprit.
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

One day after receiving a cease and desist order from the Arizona Department of Real Estate, Rathbun Realty president and founder Bette Rathbun-Glover says she's not about to let this destroy her company's name after more than 38 years in business.

"So it doesn't say we have to close our doors.  It says we have to get in compliance," she said.  "So we're working to do that."

The business appeared to be open Wednesday afternoon, with people entering and exiting the storefront on East 22nd Street.

Still, things didn't seem quite right.  Nearly one third of the staff at Rathbun Realty has quit amidst these allegations.  The toll on clients and property owners remains to be seen.

"Sure you're going to have some people who bail -- that's going to happen," Rathbun-Glover said.  "But most of our property owners haven't and we appreciate that."

Even more importantly, Rathbun-Glover says she's committed to making things right.  Even if that means sacrificing some personal property in order to do so. 

"My husband and I are selling our own assets in real estate to make sure that all the money gets paid back," she said.

Rathbun-Glover is referring to more than a million dollars in company money that's unaccounted for: money that's now the focus of Tucson Police embezzlement investigation.

Rathbun Realty has publicly held a "former trusted employee" as the person responsible for the loss. 

Until that's sorted out legally, the company's president and founder says it's her responsibility to make things right.

"Our attorneys are working with the Dept. of Real Estate so we can get back into compliance so that we can continue to do our job here," she said.  "We've been trusted in this community for all these years -- it's not going to get turned around now."

Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now.  All rights reserved.

 

Original story "State order local realty company to cease and desist" from September 4, 2012

 

They are known for their commercials and manage more than 700 rental homes through Tucson. Today, Rathbun Realty was forced to close down after the Arizona Department of Real Estate issued a cease and desist order to take place immediately.

This comes after the realty company made claims they were victim of a major embezzlement by a trusted employee.

The realty company claimed that they were a victim of a major embezzlement by one of their most trusted employees and the letter from the Arizona Department of Real Estate provides more detail on the amount of money unaccounted for.

According to the cease and desist order, Cassandra Arnold along with George and Bette Glover headed Rathbun Realty. At the beginning of August, state department officials attempted to conduct an onsite audit of the company but, George and Arnold were said to be on vacation.

Less than two weeks later, George reported the suspect embezzlement to the state saying that they discovered $1.8 million missing after "a routine annual internal audit."

George told the state Arnold took the missing funds, but did not provide any documentation to confirm the claim. Arnold's lawyer Patricia Taylor stated her client was falsely slandered and accused of embezzlement by the current owner of Rathbun Realty. Read the lawyer's statement here: http://bit.ly/Si0q3P 

The Department sent both George and Arnold subpoenas to appear for an investigation hearing but both of them did not show up as directed on August 31. Bette Glover asked the State for an extension to respond to the subpoena but it was denied the day before George was supposed to appear.

The state proceeded to file a cease and desist order today, September 4.

Tucson News Now caught up with Bette and she declined to talk on camera, but there were several customers out at the office today confused as to why they were closed. 

"I'm a little upset because we've had some issues with them in the last week and it just feels really unorganized and not done well. It's just kind of frustrating," Kristene Youngurt said.

"I have no idea what's going on.  I have a rental house, I own I can't get any repairs done.  They did call me last Friday and when I came back over and it said until further notice they were closed.  They didn't give anybody any notice and nobody knows what's going on," Tim Dawson said. 

According to the documents, the state says Rathbun Realty has violated several laws including failing to exercise reasonable supervision, which is required of a corporation. Other violations include negligence and incompetence.

With this order in effect, the company is prohibited from engaging in any real estate activity.

Rathbun Realty is able to appeal the order within 30 days. 

To see the order click here: http://bit.ly/Q3AWl5

Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved. 

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