27 APR 2012
Ms Mary-Jane Rathie
Disciplinary Panel hearing - 25 April 2012
The Disciplinary Panel heard the case concerning Ms Rathie’s conviction in accordance with RICS Bye-Law 5.2.2(d) of RICS Bye-Laws 2009.
The Panel considered the following:
RICS received a certified copy of your conviction for offences of dishonestly making false representations to make gain for yourself and/or to cause loss to another and/or to expose others to risk by The Central Criminal Court on 29 June 2011. These offences resulted in a custodial sentence.
Findings of Fact
The Panel first considered whether Ms Rathie (also referred in the papers as Miss Mary-Jane FitzGerald-Williamson) had agreed to a paper hearing. There were a number of papers presented to the Panel which clearly showed that Ms Rathie was aware of this hearing and had elected to be heard this way.
The Panel considered the certificate of conviction presented in the bundle of papers. The Panel found the facts proved. The Panel found the facts proved and by reason of that conviction Ms Rathie is liable to disciplinary action.
The Panel considered the bundle of documents submitted by RICS including the sentencing remarks of the judge at the trial which the Panel found most relevant. It considered the written representations received from RICS. It also considered representations from Ms Rathie including papers that arrived today. The panel took note of the Sanctions Policy.
This case arose as a result of a serious property fraud investigation by the City of London Police. Ms Rathie was convicted of ‘grossly inflating’ valuations on properties in return for bribes in the form of money and expensive cars to the value of almost one million pounds.
The Panel considered the sanctions from the least to the most serious. It considered whether a caution, reprimand, fine, undertakings or conditions on membership would be appropriate or sufficient in the circumstances of this case. It considered that Ms Rathie’s behaviours was of the most serious kind. Proper accurate valuations are fundamental to the role of a Chartered Surveyor and the public should be entitled to rely absolutely upon the opinion of a member of the profession. To be influenced to vary a valuation, particularly for substantial financial gain is a failure of the most serious kind.
The Panel determined that Ms Rathie should be expelled from membership of RICS forthwith. It is the duty of every Chartered Surveyor to ensure that she undertakes valuations honestly uninfluenced by any outside factors and certainly not vary valuations for her own personal financial benefit. She should have refused to continue to act for her client as she initially appeared to do. Ms Rathie failed to act professionally and as such is not fit to be a member of RICS.
Determination on Publication and Costs
The Panel determined that publication should take place in Modus, RICS website and a paper local to Ms Rathie. The panel also noted that RICS press office will issue a press release and it recommends that this should be sent direct to all the publications which carried a report of the criminal case.
The Panel considered Ms Rathies unsubstantiated statement that she had no funds but were not convinced that on that basis costs should not be awarded. The Panel orders that Mr Rathie pay costs in the amount of £600.
Ms Rathie has 28 days to appeal this decision in accordance with Rule 59 of the Disciplinary, Registration and Appeal Panel Rules.