Cabramatta property manager convicted of fraud

NSW Fair Trading has successfully prosecuted a property manager from a Cabramatta real estate business, who was convicted for fraudulently converting $19K of rental bonds into her personal account.

Tran My Phuong Le, 47, was sentenced to 12 months of imprisonment to be served by way of an intensive corrections order along with 100 hours of community service. She was sentenced at Parramatta Local Court on 4 April for breaching the Property, Stock & Business Agents Act 2002.

Ms Le, also known as Angelina, was the property manager for M & J’s International Investment and Development Co Pty Ltd trading as Lucky Dragon Development Company real estate agency.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb said Ms Le was charged after NSW Fair Trading attended the business for a site visit and inspection in August 2017.

“Fair Trading investigators found that nine rental bonds were missing from Lucky Dragon’s account which should have been lodged with the Rental Bond Board (RBB),” Ms Webb said.

“It was further revealed that these nine bonds were paid to Lucky Dragon over several years. A few of the tenants recalled paying the bond in cash to ‘Angelina’.”

The court heard that Ms Le was issued with a notice to attend the office of NSW Fair Trading to provide information about the missing bonds, where she admitted to receiving the bond money from all nine properties.

“The $19,280 from nine rental bonds were supposed to be held in a trust account but instead it was used for Ms Le’s personal expenses,” Ms Webb said.

Consequently, Ms Le voluntarily surrendered her certificate of registration and the bond money has been paid back to the RBB out of the agency’s own funds.

“This sends yet another strong reminder that Fair Trading remains proactive in its disciplinary and enforcement action to ensure that anyone in the real estate industry acts in a responsible and honest manner,” Ms Webb said.

Ms Le has the right to lodge an appeal.