Michael Bjorkman wants more than $20 million. He says founder Glenn Sanford defamed him when discussing ‘bad actors’ and jail time on an earnings call.

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A former eXp Realty agent at the center of a legal battle over sexual assault has sued the brokerage for $20 million, claiming among other things that founder Glenn Sanford wrongly accused him of being a “sex trafficker and rapist” during an earnings call.

Michael Bjorkman filed the lawsuit in Spokane County, Washington, on April 19. Bjorkman is one of two former eXp agents who in multiple lawsuits is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting women at industry events. The suits also accuse eXp and Sanford of looking the other way and ignoring the problem.

Bjorkman’s suit pushes back against the characterizations in the suits against him and names eXp Realty and Sanford as defendants. The new suit’s most incendiary claim, defamation, stems from a November 2023 earnings call Sanford held with investors.

According to the complaint, Sanford referred to Bjorkman and David Golden — the other now-former agent at the center of the controversy — as “two bad actors.” Sanford also said the situation could ultimately involve “jail time,” the complaint states.

The complaint argues that such comments amount to Sanford telling investors Bjorkman committed assault.

But Bjorkman says these comments were false. The complaint also notes that criminal charges against Bjorkman were ultimately dismissed. Nevertheless, the complaint claims, Bjorkman’s career has taken a hit as a result of what he believes was Sanford’s act of defamation.

“As a result of being called a sex trafficker and rapist in front of his entire former company and national investors, and then posted online for all to see, Mr. Bjorkman has suffered significant economic and noneconomic damages,” the complaint argues.

Asked for comment about the case, in an email to Inman eXp “vehemently” denied the claims in the suit and said they have “no basis in fact or law.”

“We are confident in our position and are prepared to present and defend it as such,” the company added.

Bjorkman’s lawsuit also makes several other claims against eXp and Sanford, including that the company failed to pay him money that he is owed and which the brokerage agreed to provide. The suit further claims eXp breached its contract and broke laws related to good faith and fair dealing.

The alleged sexual assault that prompted all of these lawsuits first came to light in early 2023. The initial suit, filed by alleged victims, accused Bjorkman and Golden of engaging in an “ongoing venture to entice women to travel in interstate commerce, recruit enthusiastic real estate agents with the promise of career advancement and coaching, and use their considerable influence in the real estate industry on these other real estate agents behalf, knowing that they would use means of force, fraud or coercion to cause these women to engage in a sex act.”

A second, similar suit was filed in in December 2023 and also named Bjorkman, Golden, eXp and Sanford as defendants.

Yet another alleged victim filed a third sexual assault lawsuit against eXp in January, though that suit names a different now-former agent as the perpetrator and does not include Bjorkman or Golden.

All of the cases are still moving through the court system and have not yet reached any conclusion.

In the case of Bjorkman’s new lawsuit, he concludes by asking for general damages of at least $20 million. He also asks for other unspecified and monetary damages, as well as attorneys’ fees and interest.

Update: This post was updated after publication with a statement from eXp.

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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