Alex Daguer and the property at 4411 Pine Tree Drive (Credit: Redfin)
Alex Daguer’s name is well known among Miami Beach luxury real estate agents – some of whom accuse him of bringing false buyers to gain a foothold in listings.
In a recently filed ethics complaint obtained by The Real Deal, Fortune International Realty agent Daguer is also being accused of negligence for his alleged role in a real estate scam. And separately, he faces a lawsuit that alleges he cut another agent out of listings in Miami Beach.
“I don’t believe there is a top producing agent in Miami Beach that has not had a first hand experience with Alex Daguer’s beyond unethical behavior,” wrote EWM Realty International’s Esther Percal in an email. She declined to comment further, citing the Realtors’ code of ethics.
Karolyn Henao, an agent with the Keyes Company, whose family owns the mansion at 4411 Pine Tree Drive, listed for nearly $18 million, posted on the neighborhood app Nextdoor that she was approached by Kristie Ann Weyhmiller, who works under Daguer. Weyhmiller and Daguer had a cash buyer for their nearly 12,000-square-foot, nine-bedroom home, but insisted the client was only in town for a short period of time, and needed to see the property that weekend, according to Henao.
“Mr. Daguer only came to make me sign a commission agreement form and an exclusion agreement,” wrote Henao, who filed the ethics complaint with Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
The buyer didn’t show up with Daguer, but they eventually settled on a $16 million sale price, which included an itemized list of furnishings. Daguer and Weyhmiller “were very defensive” and kept changing their story, Henao said. First the funds were coming through a wire transfer from Spain, then a check, then a transfer from a Miami business. But the money didn’t show up.
In the meantime, Henao and her husband offered their unit at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach to the buyer, who used the alias Dr. Niko Nyugyn. Nyugyn, whose real name is Arnold Kyle Nicholson, racked up a $4,000 bill on the sellers’ credit card, Henao said. A private investigator they hired discovered Nicholson is a con artist and convicted felon.
“We allowed this person to stay in our hotel/condo trusting Mr. Daguer’s reputation for selling high end real estate,” Henao wrote. “In addition to letting him stay in our hotel/condo we granted the ‘buyer’ and his agents full access to our home on two separate occasions to inspect the property. … At the moment we have had to hire armed guards to look over our home as we are in fear for our family’s safety.”
Henao said she plans to take legal action against Daguer for his negligence and security costs. Daguer and Weyhmiller failed to conduct proper due diligence, she said.
Daguer fired back, telling TRD that he did his due diligence. The buyer, he said, had fake identification and showed proof of funds with that fake ID. “There’s nothing we could have done differently,” he added. “It wasn’t a fake contract. The Fontainebleau had the ability to put this guy in jail and they didn’t.”
On Nextdoor, Weyhmiller posted a statement on Monday from Daguer, which says that Nicholson “was able to fool everyone involved including multiple attorneys” and that “it was only as a result of our due diligence that we were able to properly identify him before the deposit became due and the transaction went any further.” She goes on to say they sympathize with the homeowner’s anger and frustration but “resent their effort to blame and re-victimize us through libelous and slanderous statements and cyberbullying since we were and are ALL victims of this scam.”
Daguer has a pattern, agents say
Top agents in Miami Beach say Daguer follows a specific pattern. They claim that he approaches the owners of high-end properties with buyers, often with above-market offers, gets the owners to agree to add him as a co-listing agent, and when the deal doesn’t work out, stays on as a listing agent until it eventually sells.
Fabian Garcia-Diaz, who left Fortune International Realty in May with his business partner Allan Kleer, said that after several complaints to Fortune’s management about Daguer, “we decided it would be good to look for other companies.”
Garcia-Diaz and Kleer were with Fortune for 15 years before they left for One Sotheby’s International Realty.
“This is a young man with a lot of potential but has been consistently applying techniques or activities that are not according to the Realtors’ code of ethics that we all abide by,” Garcia-Diaz said.
Fortune International Realty Vice President and broker Ruth Palma declined to comment, as did the Miami Association of Realtors. Other agents contacted who reportedly had dealings with Alex Daguer, including David Solomon, also declined to comment. Brett Harris, who is co-listing rapper Birdman‘s home at 70 Palm Avenue with Daguer, did so as well.
Daguer denies following that pattern, and said agents making those claims are threatened by his success.
In another instance in April, Daguer allegedly jumped the fence of the property at 394 South Hibiscus Drive, according to the long-term tenant, Cery Pearle. Pearle said Daguer and two others did not have permission to be there, and that he scared his teenage daughter. Daguer countered, saying that he had permission from the owner to show the house. “It was a miscommunication between the owner and tenant,” Daguer said. The owner, Larry Groll, said “It was not a big deal.”
Lawsuit filed against Daguer
In June, county records show real estate agent Michael Briansky filed a lawsuit against Daguer and Fortune. Briansky, who at the time was with Douglas Elliman, worked with Daguer on a number of deals over the past four years. They allegedly agreed to work together on a regular basis during the fourth quarter of 2016, a deal that included splitting any commissions earned on a 50-50 basis, according to the suit.
According to the suit, Briansky, now with Calibre International Realty, alleges that Daguer cut him out of the listings at 6070 North Bay Road and 1400 West 23rd Street in Miami Beach, and that he’s owed a 50 percent of the commissions when the properties sell.
Daguer and Fortune filed a motion to dismiss the suit in August. The case is still open, according to county records. Daguer said he never agreed to work with Briansky. Briansky declined to comment.
Harunobu Coryne contributed reporting.