Accused of forging the signatures of other real estate agents to win a higher commission on home sales, a Gillette real estate agent now faces six felony charges.
Tami Leann Hinson, 57, is charged with three counts of identity theft and three counts of forgery. Her case rose to in the felony-level Campbell County District Court on Tuesday after she waived her preliminary hearing.
Gillette Police Department Detective Alan Stuber started investigating Hinson on May 4, 2023, after he heard from a local real estate agent says a criminal affidavit filed in Hinson’s case.
The real estate agent, Michael Stellpflug, claimed Hinson had used his personal information and that of two other, Chad Friedt and Will Collier, to gain thousands of dollars.
Hinson owns 1st Class Realty and was working with PennyMac Loan Services LLC to buy and sell foreclosure homes, the affidavit says.
She’d get a certain percentage of commission if she was the buyer, but if the buyer was an outside real estate agent, the sale would have a higher percentage of commission, reportedly.
Hinson prepared a contract for the sale on Kimber Court in Gillette on Aug. 23, 2017, for $296,000, the affidavit says.
The multiple listing service showed Friedt as the buying agent.
But Friedt denied being paid commission of about $5,328 on that sale, the affidavit says. He discovered the PennyMac Counter addendum summary for the sale bore his electronic signature as the “buyer’s agent,” allegedly.
Friedt said it was indeed his electronic signature on the form, but the printed name and other details weren’t in his handwriting. He denied any involvement in the sale, says the affidavit.
“Chad’s name was used by Tami for her financial gain,” the affidavit alleges.
The document says Hinson crafted a contract March 28, 2018, for the sale of a property on Timothy St. for $130,000. The commission was $2,484.
The multiple listing service showed Stellpflug as the buying agent, complete with his electronic signature, the affidavit alleges.
He denied ever signing this document, reportedly.
On Lakeland Hills Drive
Hinson prepared a contract to sell a property on Lakeland Hills Drive in Gillette on April 23, 2020, the document says.
The multiple listing service showed Collier as the buyer’s agent, along with his electronic signature.
Collier said he couldn’t remember signing the document, but that it was possible. He denied being part of the sale, the affidavit says.
The commission was about $3,587.
Detective Stuber wrote that for all three transfers, Hinson tried to “deceive” the loan company, PennyMac, and the individuals involved by changing the database in the multiple listing service, listing the male real estate agents as the selling members and then changing the “selling member” to herself.
The detective said he met with Hinson May 15, 2023.
She said all three men were terminated before the contracts became final, the affidavit says.
“As the broker, I have the right to do anything I want with the information,” she said, allegedly.
Stuber asked if Hinson could provide termination dates for the three men, “and she was not able to provide any documentation,” the detective wrote.
The affidavit says Hinson then said Friedt “was terminated” before his closings and Collier left before his last closing.”
Stuber asked her why she changed the agent names in the database.
She said it was because the men no longer worked with her, the affidavit says.
Hinson allegedly said two of the men gave her permission to use their names, to help the company.
“They probably even signed the stuff themselves ’cause I’ve never forged anyone’s signature on anything,” she said, reportedly.
Each of the six felony charges against Hinson carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. The case is ongoing.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.