A former Sydney real estate agent has been served a sentence that stops just shy of jail time after he misappropriated $187,500 of his client’s money.
Chung Tran was the sales agent for a mixed-use development in Parramatta called the ‘Horizon Project’ and received deposits for off-the-plan apartments between November 2010 and March 2012.
The strata plans were due to be registered in December 2013 – but they never were.
When buyers found out, they cancelled their contracts and attempted to ask for their money back, but were refused.
A NSW Fair Trading investigation of the bank records of Empire Pty Ltd’s company revealed that deposit funds were quickly moved somewhere else instead of being held in trust.
Tran pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud in the Parramatta local court and was sentenced 20 months of ‘Intensive Correction Order’, which is the most serious sentence you can serve in the community.
In 2017, Tran was banned by NSW Fair Trading from managing or conducting real estate business for six years.
Fair Trading NSW executive director of investigation and enforcement Valerie Griswold said real estate agents found doing the wrong thing would be “investigated and dealt with appropriately”.
“This case should act as a deterrent to all real estate agents. There can be no tolerance for misusing funds or other fraudulent behaviour.”
Read next: This man stole $105 million from you and me
Make your money work with Yahoo Finance’s daily newsletter. Sign up here and stay on top of the latest money, economy, property and work news.