Monday, October 26, 2009

The Operating Escrow Account (Eschewing Obfuscation)

Robyn Ryan is my new hero. When given the opportunity to perpetrate a schadenfreude, she did not waste it.

The event was a TREC meeting.

The setting for this bit of poetic justice was the morning of October 2, 2009, in a small ampitheatre-turned-hearing-room in Kingsport Tennessee.

The cast of characters involved were various and sundry TREC (Tennessee Real Estate Commission) commissioners, a judge, some clerks, some observers, the aforementioned Robyn Ryan, and ~ wait for it ~ Bob Leedy!

For those of you who've been personally degraded by Robert A. (Bob) Leedy in the past, and have been waiting with endless patience for Mr. Big Broker Bob to get his comeuppance, Ms. Robyn Lynne Ryan will be your hero, too.

Robyn is an attorney. Bob worked as a broker, and was seemingly buying trucks by writing checks from his escrow account. The two went head-to-head in a match of wits at the morning-long hearing. Bob was so out-gunned, it almost made you feel sorry for him. That is, until he would act like an ass.

Ms. Ryan hasn't been long at that post (assistant general counsel, Tennessee Real Estate Commission at the Department of Commerce and Insurance), but she knew exactly how to dash cold water on Mr. Leedy's hot, long-standing, nerve-grinding, attitude!

Listen closely at 1:48:54 when Robyn asks Bob "What is an Operating Escrow?"

Bob replied that he didn't know exactly what an Operating Escrow was, except that it was really his money and "my CPA said it was legal".

She gave Bob a chance by then asking "is your CPA a real estate agent?"

Now, Ms. Robyn gets a mushy fist-bump from me for this because, as everyone knows, most CPAs do NOT have a clue about how to manage an escrow account. They get stuck on looking for the 'profit', and have total meltdowns when told there is none. Neither do CPAs understand the co-mingling thingy. Of course, Bob answered her last question by saying "i don't know."

Bob tried very hard to explain that it made perfect sense to him that even though tenants' rents and deposits were held in that account, it was really his account because it was in his name with his social security number. He referred to it several times during the course of the hearing as his "Operating Escrow".

I was rewarded with a 'funny' when Ms. Robyn read aloud to the Commission from a letter Mr. Leedy had sent them in 2007. He had been charged (with improper dealings), found guilty and fined in 2006. I know you won't believe this, but apparently TREC had trouble collecting...

In an act of snark when forced to pay, he told the Commission (and i'm paraphrasing here) 'he'd heard the State was pulling back on TREC's budget, and they obviously needed his $1000 to pay the light bill'. Even though i could only see the back of his head in the video, it was evident he regretted committing his charming, rapier wit to paper, that long-ago day.

After everyone had their say, the Commission took about 3 seconds to decide to revoke Mr. Leedy's long-held Broker's license and impose a hefty fine.

Mr. Bob had hardly finished his closing argument (did i mention, in his hubris, Bob represented himself) before the motion was made, seconded, and a unanimous vote carried to protect the public from Bob Leedy.

Thank you, Ms. Ryan, for your decorum and aplomb during the hearing. And, for shutting down Bob Leedy every time he went on a wiggley-room tangent (ohhh yesss, Dear Reader, Bob annoyingly ignored Discovery rules and then acted all wounded when Robyn set him straight). And, Ms. Ryan, could you maybe take at another little oxymoron going on in our great state?

Operating Escrow is an Oxymoron.

PS: I'll update this post with a link to the TREC minutes when they are posted.


  1. If you are friends with Ms. Ryan, please inform her that Mr. Leedy is still operating his business. This real estate firm is operating illegally as it does not have a licensed broker nor does it have a firm license. He calls it "big broker bobs realty". I mailed multiple copies of a plethora of evidence showing Mr. Leedy was still operating to the state's attorney general, the executive director of trec, and the sevier county auditor. Nothing has been done to stop this man who steals peoples money and who has filed for bankruptcy protection. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. I wouldn't know Ms. Ryan if she walked up and slapped me in the face. But i do hope she has her listening ears on...

    It seems part of the problem is that TREC doesn't know what they're supposed to do next. They don't realize they should be contacting the AG, themselves, and taking out a warrant for Mr. Leedy.

    The follow-up warrant step is the one TREC is missing in the stairs to justice.

    ...wonder if we should send them a telegram?

    Don't give up your efforts! Thank you for working to protect the public!

  3. An update for ya:
    bob leedy declared chp 11 bankruptcy. The date on the documents is dec. 8th. The importance of that is he boldly states he manages 44 units (see his website). On the 8th, after rents come in..he states he has $5k in the escrow account!!!!!!! Short much? Only by like (conservative estimate) $30k! There it is, right there, he's yelling, "I steal people's money and nobody cares!!" and might I add, he is still in business, though he up and moved last week (put a nice big sign out in front of his 'new' office)! Wth?

  4. I am shocked to find all of this out. I currently rent from "Big Broker Bob." My lease began well after he lost his broker's license. I moved in on January 28, 2010. Our lease states that we rent from Big Broker Bob. It is signed by Bob. Does that mean our lease is null and void?
    No one needs to tell me how crooked this guy is. Our neighbors rent from him as well (they moved here in early July 2010.) We each pay $1500 per month, have no workable air conditioner, bugs of every sort, two inch gaps in some of our walls...I could go on and on. We call and call, usually with no response.
    I am curious to see if the attorneys who own this house and use Bob as their broker know if he has lost his license???? And if they know how much rent he is charging us. He is probably taking plenty off the top. Hmmmm!

  5. To the above poster:
    Please contact the Sevier County District Attorney, ASAP. They will need copies of your lease, but only if it is signed by Bob; and copies of any receipts for payments.

    Bob was just indicted/arrested today on 5 counts of impersonating a licensed professional (or something like that).

    I'm so happy Sevier County is finally doing something!

    I would send also contact an attorney to see to whom you should pay your rent.

  6. Is there a relationship between Bob Leedy and Sterling Webb? I am a landlord in Florida. I am checking out Sterling Webb who has applied to rent one of my units. I thought it was suspicious that he drove a new Lotus, has no job, and just arrived from North Wales, Pennsylvania. Too suspicious for my blood so I am not renting!

  7. Bob Leedy is still up to his old tricks!! we rent a house on Pittman Center that he used to manage, he has been friends with the owner I am told for over 15 yrs,Dino Constantinou who lives in Palm harbor FL is the owner of these rental homes, Bob is now working for Realty Plus the managment Co, if you want to call what they do managment, we rent this home for 1490.00 a month,8 months and many emails and phone calls to them and BOB to repair the basement apartment my daughter lives in that floods everytime it rains and now has mold in it, they have only took notice since we said we wouldn't pay them another dime! Bob has no clue what he is doing when it comes to repairs!! he never listens to us and just wastes time and money trying to fix things he is not qualified to fix!! he thinks using words like "delamination" to describe mold is over our heads, hate to break it to you Bob I am college educated! and you make no sense at all!


Anonymous comments are welcome as long as they are truthy.