Second Exp Realty suit alleges “drugging & sexual assault”
A second lawsuit has been filed against real-estate MLM Exp Realty, again alleging “drugging and sexual assault” of women.
Plaintiff Anya Roberts filed suit on December 14th in California.
Defendants named in Roberts’ suit include:
- Exp Realty
- Exp World Holdings Inc.
- Michael L. Bjorkman (right), a former California Exp Realty agent
- David S. Golden, a Nevada resident and Bjorkman’s Exp Realty upline
- Brent Gove, a California top Exp Realty agent
- Emily Keenan, an Arizona resident and David Golden’s girlfriend
- Glenn Sanford, Exp Realty’s founder and
- Michael Sherrard, a Canadian resident and top Exp Realty agent
Anya Roberts signed on as an Exp Realty agent following ” a successful real estate career as a top agent in her market with ReMax.”
Beginning in 2018, Ms. Roberts was inundated with social media posts about joining eXp REALTY.
As part of these recruiting efforts, Ms. Roberts travelled to New Orleans, LA to attend EXPCON which was held on October 22-24, 2018.
As part of these recruiting efforts, Ms. Roberts’ prospective sponsor and upline provided complimentary meals and attended multiple high-pressure, one on one meetings with some of eXp REALTY’s top recruiting Sponsor Agents (“Influencers”) in an effort to persuade her to join eXp REALTY.
DEFENDANT GOVE was personally involved in this high-pressure recruitment effort of Ms. Roberts.
On the representation she’d be placed on “one of the top levels and strongest downlines” within Exp Realty, Roberts signed on as an agent in December 2018.
Roberts claims that while initially her “income came from selling homes”, she soon found herself in a pyramid scheme.
Over time, this income stream began to shift, as she was pressured by DEFENDANT GOVE and DEFENDANT eXp REALTY to give up her sales career to completely focus on recruiting other agents to join eXp REALTY.
At each eXp REALTY event Ms. Roberts attended, rather than educating attendees on the real estate trade, eXp REALTY focused mostly on Agent Attraction and how to attract more agents to join eXp REALTY; DEFENDANT GOVE espoused this as gospel.
DEFENDANT eXp REALTY, DEFENDANT SANFORD and DEFENDANT GOVE stressed at these conferences that the sole path to success at eXp REALTY was not selling real estate, but rather, attracting more people to join DEFENDANT eXp REALTY.
The FTC warns that MLM companies without significant retail activity are pyramid schemes.
Recalling one December 2019 Exp Realty event held by Jay Kinder, Roberts’ Complaint states;
During the event, they were invited by a top eXp agent in her upline to join their team happy hour event. This event had an open bar with copious amount of alcohol.
At the conclusion of the event, the upline agent invited a few individuals, including Ms. Roberts, to go to another location at a private club a few doors down.
At the second event, someone in Ms. Roberts’ upline acted grossly inappropriate to an agent in Ms. Roberts’ downline.
Roberts claims that her downline “rebuffed” the inappropriate behavior, leading to her being blacklisted from “key meeting and events”.
Ms. Roberts’ downline agent ultimately left eXp REALTY and took her downline with her.
Alienation from the inner circle at eXp REALTY translated into lost revenue.
At another Exp Realty event, held in Mexico in 2020;
Ms. Roberts attended one of the signature events – a sunset booze cruise across Banderas Bay to Las Caletas, a beach only accessible by boat.
Included in this event was a lavish dinner, all you can drink, and entertainment.
Nearly all of eXp REALTY’s top executives and top agent influencers, including DEFENDANT GOLDEN, his girlfriend DEFENDANT KEENAN, DEFENDANT BJORKMAN and DEFENDANT GOVE were in attendance.
While on the boat, DEFENDANT KEENAN, invited Ms. Roberts to sit at the back of the boat so that Ms. Roberts could personally meet DEFENDANT GOLDEN—an invitation Ms. Roberts was excited to get because she knew that DEFENDANT GOLDEN was one of eXp REALTY’s top agent Influencers.
During that conversation on the boat with DEFENDANT GOLDEN, DEFENDANT KEENAN, put a pill into Ms. Roberts’ mouth, telling her it was an Adderall and further stating that it simply would give her energy.
Soon thereafter, Ms. Roberts blacked out and does not have any personal recollection of what happened the remainder of the evening.
Ms. Roberts later learned from other attendees on the boat that she was acting wildly out of character and was acting inappropriately for a work event. Ms. Roberts now understands that she was drugged.
Ms. Roberts was told that she was kissing DEFENDANT KEENAN in front of DEFENDANT GOVE and his family.
She also learned that she got separated from her friends and that she went missing for an extended period of time during which her friends were searching for her and were very concerned for her safety.
Ms. Roberts has no independent recollection of that night.
Ms. Roberts believes she was sexually assaulted by DEFENDANT GOLDEN, DEFENDANT KEENAN and others that evening.
The next thing Ms. Roberts recalls is waking up in her own hotel room the following day, February 9, 2020.
Shortly thereafter, DEFENDANT KEENAN contacted Ms. Roberts to let her know that she had her credit card and that they should meet so that she could return the credit card to Ms. Roberts.
That same morning, DEFENDANT KEENAN told another attendee that she “pulled a girl for the first-time last night”; the girl that was drugged and “pulled” was Ms. Roberts.
Why isn’t clarified but
later that day, Ms. Roberts went to DEFENDANT GOLDEN’s room to meet with DEFENDANT KEENAN and DEFENDANT GOLDEN to retrieve her belongings.
DEFENDANT KEENAN and DEFENDANT GOLDEN were having drinks and offered her one, which she accepted.
Soon after having that drink, Mr. Roberts lost a significant portion of her memory.
While much of that day and night is a blur, Ms. Roberts does recall a few details. In particular, she recalls regaining her consciousness to find DEFENDANT KEENAN ‘s fingers in her vagina and DEFENDANT GOLDEN standing over them rubbing his erect penis over his pants.
Ms. Roberts immediately jumped away—shocked and upset.
DEFENDANT GOLDEN sent DEFENDANT KEENAN away and tried to calm Ms. Roberts down by talking to her as if they were in the middle of a business meeting, whereby he began promising he would take care of her financially.
Ms. Roberts recalls DEFENDANT GOLDEN telling her that if she left her current eXp sponsor, Chris Bear, and choose DEFENDANT GOLDEN as her sponsor, DEFENDANT GOLDEN would catapult her career while promising her financial success.
While drugged, dazed, and confused about what had just happened, DEFENDANT GOLDEN gaslit Ms. Roberts, telling her that he was going to make her a hugely successful top agent at eXp REALTY, just like him.
After the event Golden is alleged to have hounded Roberts about changing her upline.
As part of this recruitment campaign, DEFENDANT GOLDEN would at times profess his love to Ms. Roberts, and at other times, would make promises that he would bring her financial success so long as she did EXACTLY what he told her to do.
I don’t know where Emily Keenan was in all of this, but
As a result of the promises of career advancement, monetary success, romantic professions of love and admiration, and “love-bombing”, Ms. Roberts began a “relationship” with DEFENDANT GOLDEN.
This led to Golden and Robert sharing a hotel room at an Exp Realty event, held in Florida in March 2020.
Ms. Roberts understood the purpose of the trip was for DEFENDANT GOLDEN to teach her how to run her own eXp REALTY recruiting event.
On the first night of the event, DEFENDANT BJORKMAN showed up at DEFENDANT GOLDEN’S room with his luggage in hand and told Ms. Roberts that he would also be staying in their room.
At first, Ms. Roberts thought DEFENDANT BJORKMAN was joking. DEFENDANT BJORKMAN told Ms. Roberts that this was not a joke as he always shared a room with DEFENDANT GOLDEN.
The next day, while at the hotel, DEFENDANT GOLDEN received a delivery of GHB.
DEFENDANT GOLDEN told Ms. Roberts that the delivery was a workout performance enhancing drug.
DEFENDANT GOLDEN told her that she could look the drug up online and see that it was used for workouts as it was routinely used by bodybuilders.
He proceeded to show Ms. Roberts on Google verification while ensuring her that he is a “Pharmacist” and everyone relies on his expertise to give the correct dosage because he is so familiar with this substance.
Not understanding the risk involved in taking the drug, and after being told that a small amount would be just fine, Ms. Roberts took the dosage recommended by DEFENDANT GOLDEN; Ms. Roberts did not understand that taking this drug would cause her not only to lose her memory, but also to become incapacitated such that she would lose the ability to consent as to what happened with her body.
As a result of taking the drug, Ms. Roberts blacked out and does not recall much of the events from that night except for flashes of memories; however, Ms. Roberts does recall that the next morning while she was showering, DEFENDANT BJORKMAN walked into the bathroom naked, exposing himself to her.
Ms. Roberts was utterly shocked and asked what he was doing to which he replied, “oh, now you are shy?” implying that they had sexual contact the night before.
Ms. Roberts believes she was sexually assaulted by DEFENDANT GOLDEN and DEFENDANT BJORKMAN the previous night while she was incapacitated.
Upon information and belief, DEFENDANT BJORKMAN and DEFENDANT GOLDEN took pictures and/or videos of her that night.
Roberts goes on to claim that after telling Golden she wouldn’t be changing her upline to him, Golden “immediately broke off his relationship with” her.
Golden then purportedly engaged in “a smear campaign to try and discredit her within eXp REALTY.”
Several years later, after learning that other women had been drugged and assaulted by DEFENDANT GOLDEN and DEFENDANT BJORKMAN, Ms. Roberts began to piece together what had happened to her – that she was drugged and that she was fraudulently induced into engaging in a sexual relationship with DEFENDANT GOLDEN.
She further realized that once it became clear that she would not do everything he wanted, including selecting him as her sponsor, he stonewalled her career.
Unfortunately, Golden wasn’t the only Exp Agent who acted inappropriately towards Roberts.
At an April 2021 Exp Realty event, Roberts met Michael Sherrard (right).
DEFENDANT SHERRARD approached Ms. Roberts and introduced himself as the #1 agent at eXp REALTY. Trying to impress her he showed her a picture of his Lamborghini.
Unimpressed, Ms. Roberts rebuffed his advances and tried to continue her conversation with other attendees attempting to network.
Uninvited, DEFENDANT SHERRARD sat next to her at a table where she was sitting by her business partner and talking to other agents and then repeatedly placed his hand on her leg and moved it up under her skirt.
His pinky and ring finger grazed her vagina multiple times while Ms. Roberts repeatedly tried to move DEFENDANT SHERRARD’s hand off her — he ignored her trying to stop his behavior. He did this approximately 6-7 times.
Finally, Ms. Roberts jumped up from the table mid-conversation with other agents and left the event.
Such was the “extreme emotional distress” caused by her time at Exp Realty, that Roberts
stopped selling real estate and eventually moved out of the country to distance herself from eXp REALTY.
Various police reports are cited in Roberts’ Complaint.
According to a Las Vegas Police Report, around April or May 2018, an eXp REALTY Agent attended a real estate networking event in Denver, Colorado.
One evening during the conference, the eXp REALTY Agent went to the bar with several other event attendees, including DEFENDANT BJORKMAN.
This eXp REALTY Agent only had one drink at the bar and does not recall how she got the drink.
After having that drink, the eXp REALTY Agent stood up and immediately felt woozy and shaky.
DEFENDANT BJORKMAN immediately noticed she was sick and told her that she had been drugged, that she needed to eat and that she should not leave the bar with anyone except for him.
This eXp REALTY Agent does not recall the rest of the evening. After learning about other women being drugged and assaulted by DEFENDANT BJORKMAN, this now former eXp REALTY Agent has come to the conclusion that she was also drugged by DEFENDANT BJORKMAN.
According to a Las Vegas Police Report, in early February 2019, an eXp REALTY Agent attended a real estate networking event in Maui, Hawaii.
During the event, this eXp REALTY Agent had two drinks with DEFENDANT BJORKMAN.
Soon after, this eXp REALTY Agent began slipping in and out of consciousness and had to be taken to Maui Hospital.
Despite only having two drinks, this eXp REALTY Agent had a Blood Alcohol Content of .21 (nearly three times the legal limit).
This eXp REALTY Agent now believes that she was drugged with alcohol powder and believes that DEFENDANT BJORKMAN was the individual who drugged her.
According to a Las Vegas Police Report, in or around May-June 2019, a real estate agent and her husband attended an eXp recruiting event in Coronado, CA.
DEFENDANT BJORKMAN invited her and her husband to brunch.
They each had one glass of wine and then DEFENDANT BJORKMAN invited them to DEFENDANT GOLDEN and DEFENDANT BJORKMAN’s suite utilized for eXp recruiting parties.
While in the suite, DEFENDANT GOLDEN arrived. The real estate agent and her husband were each offered a mixed drink.
Soon after, the real estate agent had limited memory of the rest of the day, missed pre-arranged dinner plans, missed many text messages, and did not wake up until the following morning.
This agent believes she was drugged, but at the time did not know who was responsible. This agent joined eXp REALTY in October 2019 and named DEFENDANT BJORKMAN as her sponsor.
Later that year, in December 2019, this eXp REALTY agent traveled to Puerto Rico to visit top eXp REALTY influencer and eXp REALTY Board Member Gene Frederick.
Rosie Rodriquez, an agent in her upline, and DEFEDANT GOLDEN’s eXp original sponsor, was supposed to attend the event but cancelled at the last moment.
Consequently, this eXp REALTY Agent was staying at a rental home alone with DEFENDANT BJORKMAN and DEFENDANT GOLDEN.
This eXp REALTY Agent was so fearful due to inappropriate comments and actions of DEFENDANT BJORKMAN and DEFENDANT GOLDEN that she locked her door to her bedroom to prevent them from entering.
As they tried to wiggle the door open, she stayed on the phone with her husband for most of the night.
Due to being so uncomfortable, she left the trip early and had eXp REALTY Board Member Gene Frederick drive her to the airport.
On February 25, 2020, DEFENDANT GOLDEN flew to Minnesota to attend an eXp REALTY recruiting event in her hometown. Sometime thereafter, this eXp REALTY Agent contacted eXp REALTY to request that she no longer be in DEFENDANT BJORKMAN and DEFENDANT GOLDEN’S downline.
Roberts claims that, even after being explicitly made aware of her ordeal, nobody from Exp Realty “reached out to” her.
Summing up her allegations, Robert’s Complaint states;
This is a case of drugging and sexual assault, “bad actors”, and a company, eXp, who at worst knew of, encouraged, and permitted abhorrent behavior or at the least recklessly disregarded and willfully turned a blind eye to the actions of its top agent influencers for the benefit of its bottom line.
The detestable actions that are the subject of this complaint (the drugging and sexual assault) were rampant within eXp, during eXp events, agent sponsored events, as well as events where eXp was in attendance, permeating the company’s culture.
In support of Exp Realty owner Glenn Sanford (right) and other executives being fully aware of what was going on, Roberts’ claims;
In April 2022, an eXp Realty Board Member addressed eXp Realty’s failure to take any action to curb the sexual assault incidents that were occurring at eXp Realty.
On par with eXp’s treatment of complaints related to sexual harassment, sexual assault, drug use and the like, DEFENDANT eXp REALTY not only ignored this request to take action, but also DEFENDANT eXp CEO, GLENN SANFORD, expressed to this same board member that this was not their problem and would be simply a three to five day newspaper phenomenon and then would disappear.
In complete contrast to DEFENDANT SANFORD’s belief about the incidents’ lack of impact for eXp, Ms. Roberts will be impacted forever by the events described in this complaint.
Roberts’ Complaint details
- two counts of human trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion;
- one count of “participating in a venture in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1595” (civil remedy);
- one count of sexual battery;
- one count of civil battery;
- one count of intentional infliction of emotional distress; and
- one count of negligent hiring, retention and supervision
The first Exp Realty “drugging and sexual assault” lawsuit was filed earlier this year in February. It details similar alleged conduct by Golden and Bjorkman.
BehindMLM is tracking both cases. Stay tuned for updates as both cases progress.