Liverpool real estate agent convicted of trust account fraud
A Liverpool real estate agent has been prosecuted after NSW Fair Trading found that he fraudulently transferred trust money into his own personal account.
On 22 November 2018, George Marando, director of G & A Marando Pty Ltd trading as Marando Real Estate NSW, pleaded guilty in the Parramatta Local Court to an offence under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 (NSW). On 8 May 2019, Mr Marando was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment to be served by way of an intensive correction order and was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service work.
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb said NSW Fair Trading began investigating the agency following a compliance operation in 2015.
“The investigation particularly concerned the sale of a property in Granville on 5 July 2015, where the agency acted as the selling agent for the vendors,” Ms Webb said.
The court heard that Mr Marando transferred $41,400 of the $59,100 deposit into his personal bank account in multiple transactions between 30 July 2015 to 26 September 2015.
“After transferring the money into his personal account, he either transferred the money to another account or withdrew it in cash,” Ms Webb added.
“As a result of his conduct, Mr Marando failed to pay the vendors the full amount they were owed until NSW Fair Trading investigators intervened in June 2016.”
Mr Marando’s real estate licence and the corporation licence of the agency have been cancelled.
“Mr Marando had no authority to withdraw money from the company trust account,” Ms Webb said.
“Fair Trading will continue to proactively ensure that real estate agents uphold their legal responsibilities.”
Mr Marando has the right to lodge an appeal.