Real estate agents Kon Balasis and Victorian Realty Group Pty Ltd (VRG), operating as Century 21 Craigieburn, have been permanently disqualified from holding estate agents’ licences after breaking the law on trust accounts.
At a hearing on 1 October, 2012, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) found that VRG and Mr Balasis breached the Estate Agents Act 1980 in relation to:
- a deficiency in the Century 21 Craigieburn trust account of $166,935.27 on 27 March, 2012, regarding deposits paid on six property sales
- VRG holding deposits as a stakeholder pending completion of transactions and not retaining that money in its trust account until paid to the persons entitled.
- VRG fraudulently omitting to pay about $177,000 to the persons entitled to that money, which money was being held by VRG as a stakeholder pending completion of sales of land. Mr Balasis at the time was an officer of VRG and he knowingly authorised these contraventions
- VRG not keeping full and accurate accounting records so as to show the true position of all moneys it received.
VCAT also found that VRG breached the Sale of Land Act 1962 in that:
- it received deposit moneys in the course of transactions for the sale of land and did not hold that money as stakeholder until the purchasers became entitled to those deposits.
The tribunal ruled that Mr Balasis was guilty of conduct as an estate agent that rendered him unfit to hold a licence and he was not of good character or otherwise a fit and proper person to hold an estate agent’s licence.
VCAT cancelled Mr Balasis’ licence and permanently disqualified VRG and Mr Balasis from holding a licence.
Mr Balasis is based in Victoria, Australia.