Strathfield real estate agent in court over $380k fraud
A former Strathfield real estate agent who fraudulently used more than $380,000 of clients’ money held in trust has been sentenced to a 20-month Intensive Correction Order.
Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean said 31-year-old Min Paul Pak was also ordered to pay more than $87,000 to the NSW Property Services Compensation Fund.
“This was a breach of trust from someone who was meant to be helping people through the biggest transaction of their life,” Mr Kean said.
“Let it be a reminder: This government won’t put up with people who want to rip off consumers or small business. You will pay the price.”
Mr Kean said the former director of Haus Real Estate Pty Ltd was convicted in the Parramatta Local Court for misappropriating trust funds three times.
“On one occasion, after he helped in the sale of a house for more than $1 million, Pak authorised the transfer of withdrawals totalling more than $111,000 from a trust account to external accounts,” Mr Kean said.
“Those withdrawals had no connection to the sale of the house and Pak had no authorisation to disburse the funds.
“Selling property is extremely stressful and owners don’t need the added burden of worrying that something dubious may happen to their money.”
Pak has been disqualified from being involved in the direction, management or conduct of a real estate agency for 10 years.
The Property, Stock and Business Agents Act requires agents to hold money in a trust account for the vendors until settlement of the property. Agents found to be using trust money for their personal use or the use of another person can be prosecuted and face penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment, even if the money is returned in full.
Pak has the right to lodge an appeal.