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PHILIP INVERSO v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/16/80)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: April 16, 1980.

PHILIP INVERSO, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE REAL ESTATE COMMISSION, RESPONDENT

Appeal from the Order of the State Real Estate Commission in case of In Re: In the Matter of the Suspension or Revocation of Real Estate Salesman's License No. 20227, issued May 3, 1951 to Philip Inverso.

COUNSEL

John J. D'Angelo, Bank, Minehart & D'Angelo, for petitioner.

Kenneth E. Brody, Assistant Attorney General, with him Charles L. Ford, Chief Counsel and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. President Judge Bowman did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Mencer

[ 50 Pa. Commw. Page 556]

This appeal is from an order of the State Real Estate Commission (Commission), dated November 1, 1978, revoking the real estate saleman's license issued to Philip Inverso (Inverso).

Pursuant to citation and notice, the Commission held a hearing on May 30, 1978, at which it was established that, on October 12, 1976, Inverso had pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to 34 counts of submitting false statements to a federally insured depository, in violation of Section 1014 of Title 18, U.S.C., one count of criminal conspiracy to defraud an agency of the United States, in violation of Section 371 of Title 18, U.S.C., and two counts of failing to file tax returns, in violation of Section 7203 of Title 26, U.S.C.

Based on the evidence introduced at the hearing, the Commission determined that Inverso's guilty plea to the first two above enumerated offenses placed him in violation of Section 11(b) of the Real Estate Brokers License Act of 1929, Act of May 1, 1929, P.L. 1216, as amended (Act), 63 P.S. § 441(b),*fn1 and that Inverso

[ 50 Pa. Commw. Page 557]

    had engaged in conduct in connection with a real estate transaction which demonstrated bad faith and dishonesty, in violation of Section 10(a)(7) of the Act, 63 P.S. § 440(a)(7),*fn2 and ordered that his real estate salesman's license be revoked.

Our scope of review requires that we must affirm an order of the Commission which revokes a real estate salesman's license when it is supported by substantial evidence and where the Commission has not committed an error of law or abused its discretion in the imposition of the penalty. Yingling v. State Real Estate Commission, 8 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 556, 304 A.2d 524 (1973).

Inverso contends that the Commission's evidence was insufficient to support its findings of fact and conclusions of law that he was in violation of Sections 10(a)(7) and 11(b) of the Act and that the Commission

[ 50 Pa. Commw. Page 558]

    abused its discretion in the imposition of the penalty of revocation of his real estate saleman's license.

Inverso's guilty plea to violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1014 makes it indisputable that he knowingly made substantial misrepresentations in connection with a real estate transaction which, in violation of Section 10(a)(7) of the Act, demonstrates bad faith and dishonesty. Accordingly, we have no hesitancy in holding that the evidence before the Commission was sufficient to support its findings of fact 6 through 8*fn3 and its fourth conclusion of law.*fn4

Likewise, Inverso's guilty plea to violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371 and 1014 establishes a violation of Section 11(b) of the Act.

[ 50 Pa. Commw. Page 559]

Inverso disputes what seems to be obvious, that his guilty plea brings him within the provisions of Section 11(b) of the Act, by asserting that his real estate salesman's license expired on April 30, 1976, he did not plead guilty to the federal charges filed against him until October 12, 1976, and therefore Section 11(b) of the Act would have no application here, since it is conditioned on the licensee's entering a guilty plea during the term of the license. However, this assertion is in error since the license issued to him on May 3, 1951 did not expire on April 30, 1976 by his failure to pay a required biennial registration fee to keep his license current for a further 2-year period. Cf. Ullo v. State Board of Nurse Examiners, 41 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 204, 398 A.2d 764 (1979); Grasso Page 559} v. State Real Estate Commission, 14 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 196, 320 A.2d 912 (1974). The license here in question became inactive, subject to being placed on a current status by complying with the renewal procedure of Section 8(3) of the Act, 63 P.S. § 483(3),*fn5 and did not expire as a result of Inverso's failure, in 1976, to renew his license for an additional 2-year period. If Inverso were correct on this assertion, he would nevertheless be ineligible for the issuance of a license prior to October 12, 1981, a date 5 years after the date of his guilty plea, because of the provisions of Section 11(g) of the Act, 63 P.S. § 441(g).*fn6

[ 50 Pa. Commw. Page 560]

As to Inverso's contention that the penalty of revocation imposed was an abuse of discretion by the Commission, we find no impropriety in the imposition of such a penalty, since Section 10(a) of the Act, 63 P.S. § 440(a), specifically provides the authority to the Commission to revoke licenses for a violation, inter alia, of Section 10(a)(7). We cannot substitute our own judgment for that of the Commission. Grasso v. State Real Estate Commission, supra. In addition, Section 11(b) of the Act mandates revocation of a license when a violation of that section has occurred.

Accordingly, we enter the following

Order

And Now, this 16th day of April, 1980, the order of the State Real Estate Commission, dated November 1, 1978, revoking real estate salesman's license No. 20227, issued to Philip Inverso, is hereby affirmed.

President Judge Bowman did not participate in the decision in this case.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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