A former conveyancer has been ordered to pay $5000 in fines and a further $44,869.61 restitution to the Victorian Property Fund after being found guilty of continuing to work as a conveyancer without a licence.
Consumer Affairs Victoria took action against Hans Eric Richmond, 70, of Officer, in response to consumer complaints.
Victoria Police also brought charges against Mr Richmond, after complaints by the same consumers.
Mr Richmond was convicted in the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court of one count of carrying on a conveyancing business while unlicensed.
The offences took place between June 2016 and March 2018.
The Business Licensing Authority cancelled Mr Richmond's licence in 2013, after he was found guilty of a disqualifying offence.
The penalties for unlicensed conveyancing include up to two years’ jail or a fine of more than $39,000.
Consumer Affairs Victoria has a number of tools available to ensure conveyancers are abiding by the law, including both random and annual auditing of trust accounts.
Anyone considering engaging a conveyancer is encouraged to check their licence status beforehand, by visiting the Conveyancers' public register.