A Broker's Story - He Stole Millions but Returned the Garage Door Clickers!

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I once had a listing in an exclusive Chicago Hotel/Condo building.  My client decided to rent his unit out for a year, so I helped him find a very charming tenant, a credit worthy, 'Big Money' guy who sailed through the vetting process and moved right in.




Towards the end of the year I hosted several showings as my client wanted to go ahead and sell the unit.  The tenant was always gracious and accommodating, but I couldn't help but notice as I showed the Master Suite that the entire closet was filled with the fanciest clothing and finest shoes you ever saw.  Suits from Gucci, shopping bags from the top Oak Street boutiques just sitting on the shelves, with Price Tags still hanging from every item!




On Christmas Eve I had a showing during the day and went to turn the lights on and prepare the unit.  To my astonishment the door was standing wide open, and as I walked into the unit I saw it was completely vacant, except for some clearly high end stereo equipment! 


I cancelled the showing and called my client and my client's lawyer for advice.  I then called a locksmith to come and change the locks, and my client asked me to "guard the stereo", since we worried that burglars had come and taken the tenant's possessions or even worse!

I thought he should have had someone come watch guard and make sure no one took ME away!  But then, no one ever thinks about the Broker!


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It came out that the tenant was rumored to have embezzled millions of dollars and was running a Ponzi scheme, and ran off in the middle of the night!  He was on the run for some time. 





Ever the hard working agent, I rescheduled the showing for the next day and by New Year's Eve we had the unit under a sales contract.  Now guess what we needed for the new owner?  Yep, it turned out that the runaway tenant had taken the parking garage door clickers when he vamoosed, and they were $200 each to replace!



We had his email address, and my client took a shot at trying to reach him.  My client emailed the fugitive a note with words to this effect:  "I know you're busy these days, but if you could take a minute and send me back my garage clickers it would be great.  They are really expensive to replace!"




Believe it or not, in a little more than a week the two clickers showed up, ready for use by the new owner.  I guess the old tenant had more remorse about accidentally taking the clickers than he did about embezzling!  I'll tip my hat to that!




One Last Item - I went to see "The Madness of King George" at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater - by all means go see it everybody!  And when you do, check out the guy who plays Braun, one of the King's advisors.  He is none other than Kevin Cox, a great local Chicago actor who worked in our Coldwell Banker Gold Coast Office for several years!  Way to Go Kevin!!


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