Former estate agent convicted over illegal transfers of client funds

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7 September 2023
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A former real estate agent who siphoned nearly $75,000 of clients’ funds from his agency’s trust account in a series of multiple small transfers, has been convicted and sentenced in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

Jean-Noel Alain Philippe Gillet, 63, of Dandenong, transferred sums of between $50 and $300 each from the trust account of his agency, Agent 96 Real Estate, between March 2019 and January 2020.

Gillet pleaded guilty to two rolled-up charges which reflected 941 instances where he had caused a deficiency in a trust account or fraudulently converted money for his own use.

He was convicted and sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order, which includes a requirement to perform 200 hours of community service.

He was also ordered to pay $74,613 in compensation to the Victorian Property Fund, which provides financial protection for consumers adversely affected by trust account defaults. The Fund has compensated the clients financially impacted by Gillet’s actions.

Consumer Affairs Victoria Director Nicole Rich welcomed the outcome.

‘Trust account money belongs to consumers – and agents who misuse it are engaging in serious misconduct,’ she said.

Anyone who misuses trust account funds – regardless of the amounts involved - can face penalties including substantial fines, losing their licence to practice, or jail for more serious offences.’

Consumer Affairs Victoria first became aware of the alleged offences after Gillet self-reported personal use of trust funds by letter and phone.