A former Cobden estate agent has been sentenced to three months’ jail after pleading guilty to almost 40 charges relating to mismanagement of his clients’ money.
David Alexander Scott Steel, 57, was convicted in Warrnambool County Court of 37 charges concerning trust account deficiencies and defalcations. These included fraudulently converting trust money in breach of the Estate Agents Act 1980.
Mr Steel also gave an undertaking to the court to be of good behaviour for two years.
The company, Realestate Property Pty Ltd (ACN: 114 758 217), trading as 'David Steel First National', was also convicted and fined $10,000.
Mr Steel and the company also pleaded guilty to a charge of failure to lodge bonds, in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997.
Under Victorian laws, an estate agent has strict obligations to deposit clients’ money into a relevant trust account.
For more information, view What is an estate agent trust account?
You can check a licensee’s current status on our Public register of licensed estate agents page.