442-e. Violations. 1. Misdemeanors; triable in court of special sessions. Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The commission of a single act prohibited by this article shall constitute a violation hereof. All courts of special sessions, within their respective territorial jurisdictions, are hereby empowered to hear, try and determine such crimes, without indictment, and to impose the punishments prescribed by law therefor.
2. Attorney general to prosecute. Criminal actions for violations of this article shall be prosecuted by the attorney general, or his deputy, in the name of the people of the state, and in any such prosecution the attorney general, or his deputy, shall exercise all the powers and perform all the duties which the district attorney would otherwise be authorized to exercise or to perform therein. The attorney general shall, upon a conviction for a violation of any provision of this article, and within ten days thereafter, make and file with the department of state a detailed report showing the date of such conviction, the name of the person convicted and the exact nature of the charge.
3. Penalty recoverable by person aggrieved. In case the offender shall have received any sum of money as commission, compensation or profit by or in consequence of his violation of any provision of this article, he shall also be liable to a penalty of not less than the amount of the sum of money received by him as such commission, compensation or profit and not more than four times the sum so received by him, as may be determined by the court, which penalty may be sued for and recovered by any person aggrieved and for his use and benefit, in any court of competent jurisdiction.
4. In any prosecution under this article, any person, firm or corporation who, for another, performs or offers to perform or attempts or offers to attempt, the performance of any one of the acts set forth in section four hundred forty of this article, shall be presumed to do so for a fee, commission or other valuable consideration, but such presumption shall not arise out of a single transaction, except upon proof of repeated and successive acts, offers or attempts of a like nature.
5. The secretary of state shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this article and upon complaint of any person, or on his own initiative, to investigate any violation thereof or to investigate the business, business practices and business methods of any person, firm or corporation applying for or holding a license as a real estate broker or salesman, if in the opinion of the secretary of state such investigation is warranted. Each such applicant or licensee shall be obliged, on request of the secretary of state, to supply such information as may be required concerning his or its business, business practices or business methods, or proposed business practices or methods.
6. For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this article and in making investigations relating to any violation thereof, and for the purpose of investigating the character, competency and integrity of the applicants or licensees hereunder, and for the purpose of investigating the business, business practices and business methods of any applicant or licensee, or of the officers or agents thereof, the department of state, acting by such officer or person in the department as the secretary of state may designate, shall have the power to subpoena and bring before the officer or person so designated any person in this state and require the production of any books or papers which he deems relevant to the inquiry and administer an oath to and take testimony of any person or cause his deposition to be taken with the same fees and mileage and in the same manner as prescribed by law for civil cases in a court of record, except that any applicant or licensee or officer or agent thereof shall not be entitled to such fees and/or mileage. Any person, duly subpoenaed, who fails to obey such subpoena without reasonable cause or without such cause refuses to be examined or to answer any legal or pertinent question as to the character or qualification of such applicant or licensee or such applicant's or licensee's business, business practices and methods or such violations, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
7. In any criminal proceeding before any court or grand jury, or upon any investigation before the department of state for a violation of any of the provisions of this section, the court or grand jury, or the secretary of state, his deputy or other officer conducting the investigation, may confer immunity, in accordance with the provisions of section 50.20 or 190.40 of the criminal procedure law.
8. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, with respect to violations of section four hundred forty-two-h of this article, the secretary of state is authorized, upon the complaint of any person or on his or her own initiative, to investigate and prosecute violations of the provisions of such section by persons not licensed pursuant to this article and may impose a fine not exceeding one hundred fifty dollars for the first violation, not exceeding five hundred dollars for a second violation, and not exceeding one thousand dollars for a third and each subsequent violation. The attorney general, acting on behalf of the secretary of state, may commence an action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain a judgment against such unlicensed person in an amount equal to that imposed as a fine.
Last modified: February 3, 2019