Builder denies Burnaby man's claims of shadow flipping deal

A West Vancouver builder of luxury homes is fighting back against claims that he and his wife owe money to a Burnaby man who alleges he had a deal with the couple to market a multi-million-dollar property.

Arsalan Mahboub, owner of Brontes Homes, said he’s shocked by a recent lawsuit filed against him and his wife Sharareh Khamessipour by Ali Ibrahim.

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“I’m a professional. I’ve been doing this business for 35 years,” said Mahboub.

A 12,000-square-foot mansion built by Mahboub’s company in the British Properties that recently sold for $13.8 million is the subject of a lawsuit filed by Ibrahim in B.C. Supreme Court, claiming the sellers haven’t paid him for marketing the property to international clients.

Mahboub and his wife deny those claims.

The mansion, at 670 Southborough Drive, was built in 2017 and features an infinity swimming pool, private tennis court, home movie theatre, private elevator, golf simulation room and space for a 1,500-bottle wine collection.

In a lawsuit filed July 6, Ibrahim claims he struck a deal in March to provide “business advisory services” to market the property to “exclusive buyers” and investors in Canada and abroad. Ibrahim claims that as a result of that work he is owed $450,000.

But that’s news to the West Vancouver couple, according to Mahboub’s lawyer Bryan Hicks.

Mahboub and his wife “were surprised when they learned of (Ibrahim’s) lawsuit and his attempt to prevent them from selling their property,” stated Hicks in an emailed comment. Hicks said the couple have sworn in their affidavits “that they did not enter into any agreement with (Ibrahim) and they did not ask him to help with the sale of their property.”

According to court documents filed by the couple, Mahboub met with Naghmeh Mansouri, a mutual funds and insurance dealer, about life insurance in December 2017.

During the course of the discussion, Mansouri voiced interest in the Southborough property, according to court documents, and in March 2018 came to view the house with her friend Ibrahim.

Mansouri and Ibrahim proposed a deal whereby they would buy the mansion under an assignable contract, according to court documents, then shadow flip the property for a higher price to a third party and collect a fee based on the price difference.

But Mahboub and his wife said they didn’t agree to the deal.

“My wife and I never had a contract with (Ibrahim),” Mahboub wrote in his affidavit. “We did not sign a listing agreement with him or any other kind of arrangement.”

Mahboub added in the affidavit that he asked Ibrahim if he was licenced to provide real estate services and was told that Ibrahim was not.

He later checked with the Real Estate Council and found neither Ibrahim nor Mansouri were licenced real estate agents.

The property sold on June 28 to Yu Hong Zhao and Qing Yang Meng of Chelsea Court in West Vancouver, according to a sales contract entered as a court document in the case.

On July 13, following a hearing in B.C. Supreme Court, a judge cancelled a certificate of pending litigation that would have prevented the completion of the deal.

The rest of the case is still before the courts.

Hicks said his clients will “consider options for having (the) claim dismissed swiftly” if Ibrahim moves forward with the lawsuit.

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