A former Penrith real estate agent has been convicted of trust account fraud.
Christopher Black, who was the Director and Licensee-In-Charge of CLB Property Group Pty Ltd, misused more than $124,000 that was supposed to be held in trust after the sale of two homes.
Black also pleaded guilty to failing to keep deposits for the two properties, worth more than $158,000, in a trust account.
Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said Black misused the money for personal use.
“One of the families Black dealt with purchased their home for more than $1 million, of which more than $100,000 was placed into a trust account,” Mr Kean said.
“CLB Property Group Pty Ltd used the deposit for reasons completely unrelated to the sale of the house, leaving the trust account short of funds when the sale was settled.”
On another occasion, the company accepted a house deposit of about $55,000, which was supposed to be held in trust until the date of settlement.
“Black transferred more than $40,000 out of that trust account, again, leaving insufficient funds to pay to the vendor at settlement,” Mr Kean said.
“Black had no authority to withdraw money out of the company trust account.”
Mr Kean said it was yet another example of a bad apple in the real estate industry doing the wrong thing, and further highlighted the risks of self-regulation.
“This matter highlights the critical role Fair Trading plays in monitoring and enforcing real estate laws,” Mr Kean said.
Black was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, to be served by intensive correction order, with a condition that he completes 400 hours of community service and undertakes mental health treatment. He has the right to lodge an appeal.