eXp and Glenn Sanford have been dismissed from a sexual assault lawsuit

The parent company of the residential real estate agency eXp Real Estate and its chairman, Glenn Sanford, were dismissed from the lawsuit of a former agent who claimed she benefited financially from her alleged sexual assault by two former eXp star agents and recruiters.

Anya Roberts filed a lawsuit in December 2023, claiming she was given substances at eXp Realty events by former eXp agents David Golden and Michael Bjorkman, causing her to black out. She believes she was sexually assaulted by both Golden and Bjorkman while unconscious, part of an alleged pattern that has resulted in multiple sex trafficking and sexual assault lawsuits against Golden and Bjorkman.

Neither Golden nor Bjorkman are still employed by eXp. Bjorkman was removed as an agent in 2020 after allegations of sexual assault first surfaced, while Golden was suspended as an agent and recruiter in February 2023 pending the results of the investigation and a new lawsuit filed by Fabiola Acevedo and three others , according to an eXp spokesperson.

In the Roberts case, eXp and Sanford argued that the plaintiff failed to add facts supporting the claim that they received anything of value because of the alleged sex crimes, or that they knew or should have known of Golden’s alleged actions and Bjorkman.

One claim focused on eXp’s revenue sharing plan and uplining/downlining recruiting model, which allows agents to keep a portion of the revenue generated by agents they recruit.

“As the Entity Defendants acknowledged in their brief, this Court denied their motion to dismiss in part because the Defendants knowingly received a financial benefit from a relationship with Bjorkman whose recruitment efforts were allegedly intertwined with the sexual assaults,” judge wrote Andre Birotte Jr. in his statement.

“However, the entity defendants distinguish the present case on the basis that the plaintiff was already an agent with the company. In other words, Defendants argue that no recruitment efforts are involved since Roberts was already working for eXp, never joined Golden’s downline, and whatever benefit eXp was able to receive from her employment had already been received at the time she joined eXp, and not after a failed attempt to change sponsors.”

Birotte wrote that Roberts did not prove through police reports or their contents that Sanford or eXp had specific knowledge of Golden or Bjorkman’s alleged actions.

Birotte denied Bjorkman’s attempt to be dismissed from the case.

But another defendant, Brent Gove – an eXp recruiter who was allegedly a key figure in a “high-pressure recruitment effort” targeting Roberts – was dismissed from the case. Birotte noted that the complaint did not contain sufficient facts to establish his knowledge of the assaults “to confer beneficiary liability.”

“Plaintiff alleges that he was aware of the ‘modus operandi,’ and that he was present on the boat where Roberts was drugged and behaved erratically,” Birotte wrote. “The Court broadly agrees with Defendant’s criticisms and finds that the complaint would benefit from additional facts that articulate Gove’s awareness of the alleged bad conduct with more specificity.”

Sanford and eXp were dismissed from the Acevedo case in January 2024. Sanford recently stepped down as CEO of eXp Realty, but has retained his role as chairman of the parent company eXp World Holdings. Leo Pareja was appointed as the new CEO of eXp Realty.