Former Glen Waverley conveyancer Pamela Redford has lost her professional licence for a year, after she failed to submit trust account records and co-operate with inspectors.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal suspended the conveyancing licences of 59-year-old Ms Redford and her company, Ambiance Property Group Pty Ltd, from 1 May 2014.
The parties will also not be able to operate a trust account or deal with trust money as a condition of any conveyancing licences held after the suspension period, until the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria is satisfied they are competent and qualified to do so.
The tribunal further ordered Ms Redford and the company to have outstanding trust accounts audited and monthly reconciliation statements prepared and lodged by 30 October 2014. If not, the Director can apply to the tribunal to cancel the licences.
At the 8 April hearing, the tribunal reprimanded Ms Redford and the company for ‘a litany of unco-operation and failure’ to abide by the Conveyancers Act 2006 and relevant regulations.
This legislation requires conveyancers to reconcile and audit trust accounts every year, and make these documents available to the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Ms Redford and Ambiance had been licensed conveyancers since 25 June 2009. They failed to submit audited trust accounts to Consumer Affairs Victoria for 2010 and 2011, despite warnings to do so.
Following up on the missing accounts in early 2012, Consumer Affairs Victoria inspectors found a small deficiency of about $403, which Ms Redford immediately made good.
She advised that auditors had been appointed and that required accounts would be submitted. However, this did not happen and she also failed to submit audit reports for 2012 and 2013.
Inspectors went to Ambiance’s premises several times to conduct a trust account inspection but did not gain entry. Other attempts to make arrangements with Ms Redford failed and Consumer Affairs Victoria took action.
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