A man who continued to practice as an estate agent after a tribunal ruled him ineligible to hold a licence has been found guilty of contempt, fined $10,000 and ordered to pay costs.
At a hearing at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) John Michael Talia, 62, of Heidelberg West, was found:
- to have engaged in unlicensed trading, and
- guilty of failing to comply with a previous VCAT ruling banning him from holding an estate agent’s licence or acting as an agent’s representative.
In 2008, Mr Talia received a three-year jail term for obtaining property by deception, following a conviction at the County Court of Victoria.
In 2010, VCAT permanently disqualified Mr Talia from being an estate agent’s representative or holding an estate agent’s licence, ruling that he was not of good character and not a fit and proper person to do so.
In September 2015, Consumer Affairs Victoria staff visited the office of Bond's Real Estate Sales Pty Ltd (ACN: 050 139 305) – trading as Stockdale & Leggo Doncaster Templestowe – as part of a routine inspection, where they established that Mr Talia was present at the premises.
Our inspectors also covertly attended three auctions in 2015 and 2016, where Mr Talia was present and displayed behaviour typical of an estate agent or agent’s representative, such as giving out business cards stating him as the general manager and offering information about the properties.
You can check a licensee’s current status on our Public register - search for licensed estate agents page.