Exp Realty, parent company Exp Holdings, CEO Glenn Sanford and Agent Brent Gove, have been dismissed from a lawsuit alleging drugging and sexual assault.

Plaintiff Anya Roberts’ suit was filed in December 2023 in California.

Robert’s suit details alleged drugging and sexual assault by Exp Realty agents Michael Bjorkman, David Golden and Brent Gove.

Exp Realty, Exp Holdings and Glenn Sanford are named as defendants (the “Entity Defendants”), on the basis they knew what was going on and did nothing.

In their Motion to Dismiss, Exp Realty, Exp Holdings and Sanford argued Roberts

failed to include any facts supporting the contention that they received anything of value because of sexual assaults or that they knew or should have known about Golden and Bjorkman’s actions.

Defendants argue that there are no recruitment efforts in play since Roberts already worked for eXp, never joined Golden’s downline, and whatever benefit eXp could receive from her employment was already received at the time she joined, not after a failed attempt to switch her sponsor.

The court agreed, stating

Even reading the complaint in favor of the Plaintiff, it remains unclear what benefit the Entity Defendants stood to gain from Plaintiff switching her sponsor in response to the alleged sex acts.

In summary, Roberts’ argument that “what may benefit Golden or Bjorkman necessarily benefits the Entity Defendants” was rejected.

Additionally, the Entity Defendants correctly note a few other deficiencies, including Plaintiff’s failure to allege that the Defendants were made aware of the police reports or that they knew the contents.

Plaintiff also alleges that in April 2022, an eXp Board Member addressed the failure to take action to curb sexual assault incidents at the conferences, but Sanford told that Board Member that “this was not their problem and would be simply a three-to-five-day newspaper phenomenon and then would disappear.”

Even accepting the truth of the allegation regarding Sanford’s comment to the Board Member, who remains unidentified, it is unclear whether that conversation included discussion of the conference attendance scheme involving Bjorkman and Golden as alleged here.

It should be noted that Roberts, should she wish to do so, has been given permission to amend her Complaint “to cure the
deficiencies related to the employer relationship, among any other deficiencies.”

Roberts cites Brent Gove (right) as a central figure in a “high-pressure recruitment effort” targeting her.

Gove is also cited as being an attendance during instances of the alleged sexual assault.

In arguing he should be dismissed, Gove put forth Roberts’ Complaint contained

insufficient facts to demonstrate “enticement” because the alleged recruitment activities were “nothing more than passive advertisements…”

Defendant Gove also challenges the Complaint for failure to allege facts demonstrating his knowledge of the sexual assaults sufficient to confer beneficiary liability.

In granting Gove’s motion, the court noted

The Court generally agrees with the Defendant’s critique and believes the Complaint would benefit from additional facts articulating Gove’s awareness of the alleged bad behavior with more specificity.

Again if she chooses to do so, Roberts was granted leave to file an Amended Complaint pertaining to allegations against Gove.

If filed, Roberts Amended Complaint is due by Friday, June 13th.

Michael Bjorkman is directly implicated in Roberts’ drugging and sexual assault.

After taking the drug from Golden, Roberts alleges that she “blacked out”, and recalls that Bjorkman exposed himself to her the next morning and that she believes she was sexually assaulted by Golden and Bjorkman.

She also believes that the men took pictures of her that night.

In seeking to have the case dismissed against him, Bjorkman argued Roberts

failed to allege a “commercial sex act” and that she failed to allege “enticement” or “recruitment”.

He further contends that because the federal claim against him ought to fail, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear the remaining state law allegations against him.

The court disagreed.

We reject the Bjorkman’s argument that Bjorkman appearing naked could not rise to that of a “sex act”.

Furthermore, Plaintiff alleges that Bjorkman “knew that Golden arranged to have a delivery of GHB made to their hotel for the purpose of drugging Ms. Roberts so that they could both engage her in sex acts” and that “Bjorkman…fraudulently caused Ms. Roberts to engage in sexual contact for the purpose of using that relationship to get Ms. Roberts to change her sponsor…”

The sexual contact referenced in ¶143 was first described in ¶81, where Roberts stated that she “believes she was sexually assaulted by …Defendant Bjorkman the previous night while she was incapacitated.”

The Court finds that this is sufficient to have alleged a sex act.

Whether it was commercial in nature is also resolved in Plaintiff’s favor.

The coexistence of the sex act and the thing of value is the exchange necessary to satisfy a commercial sex act.

On May 2nd a trial for Roberts case was tentatively scheduled for April 28th, 2025.

The outcome of a lawsuit filed in March 2023, also alleging drugging and raping of women and also naming again naming Bjorkman and David Golden as defendants, remains pending. A trial in the lawsuit has been scheduled for April 21st, 2025.

Brent Gove remains an Exp Realty Agent but Golden and Bjorkman are no longer agents. In a November 2023 Exp Agent company earnings call, Glenn Sanford is reported to have referred to Golden and Bjorkman as “two bad actors”.

Sanford allegedly referred to Bjorkman as a “sex trafficker and racist” and mentioned the possibility of jail time for the former agent.

Criminal charges against Bjorkman were dismissed by a district attorney’s office, however, and the complaint claims that Sanford accused Bjorkman of assault.

Sanford’s statements prompted a $20 million defamation lawsuit from Bjorkman, filed in April.