A real estate buyer (“Buyer”) purportedly received an email from her real estate representative (“Buyer’s Representative”) that provided new wiring instructions for the upcoming closing on a property. The Buyer used the false instructions to wire the purchase money to the fraudulent account and lost $196,622. The criminal had infiltrated the email exchanges between the parties to the transaction and created fake email accounts that were very similar to the email accounts used by the parties. The criminal had used these accounts to transmit the false wire instructions that were eventually sent to the Buyer.The Buyer brought a lawsuit against a number of parties, including the Buyer’s Representative. The Buyer’s Representative claimed that she had never sent the email with the false wiring instructions. She had initially forwarded an email with the false wire instructions but she had sent it to one of the fake accounts set up by the criminal. She claimed that she had not sent the later email that the Buyer did receive and used to send the purchase money to the fraudulent account.
The case went to trial, and the jury found that the Buyer’s Representative was 85% responsible for the loss and the court entered judgment against the Buyer’s Representative for $167,129. The Buyer’s Representative filed a post-trial motion seeking a determination in her favor.
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas affirmed the jury verdict. The court rejected the Buyer’s Representative’s argument that she did not send the email to the Buyer that was used to send the wire, finding this was an issue of fact for the jury to resolve as there was some evidence that the Buyer’s Representative had sent the later email. The jury determined that the Buyer’s Representative had sent the email, and so the court affirmed the jury verdict in favor of the Buyer.
Bain v. Platinum Realty, LLC , No. 16-2326-JWL, 2018 WL 3105376 (D. Kan. June 25, 2018). [This is a citation to a Westlaw document. Westlaw is a subscription, online legal research service. If an official reporter citation should become available for this case, the citation will be updated to reflect this information.]
Read the full decision: Bain v. PLATINUM REALTY, LLC (link is external)