A Yarrawonga estate agency and its director have been fined $15,000 after pleading guilty to causing trust account deficiencies and misappropriating trust funds after a Consumer Affairs Victoria investigation revealed that they misappropriated more than $18,500, relating to 21 transactions, between October 2015 and August 2016.
Aldergate Nominees Pty Ltd (ACN: 127 642 862) - trading as Stockdale & Leggo Yarrawonga - and its sole director, Tracey Anne Smith, 43, of Yarrawonga, breached the Estate Agents Act 1980 by removing funds from the company's rental trust account and sales trust account, fraudulently converting them for their own use.
They were also found guilty of failing to notify the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria of the opening of the rental trust account.
These matters came to our attention after we received bank notification that the rental trust account was overdrawn. Our staff then conducted an inspection of the agency and reviewed its files.
The finding of guilt means Ms Smith and Aldergate Nominees' licences are cancelled by operation of law. Ms Smith must also pay costs of more than $1,600.
The matter was finalised at the Wangaratta Magistrates' Court.
You can search a licensee's current status on our Search the Estate agents public register page.