A principal has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service and her company fined $18,000 for trust account breaches.
The Brisbane-based company, trading as Julies Realty, was fined $18,000 and the director Ms Julie Huynh was ordered to carry out the community service over the next 12 months for failing to comply with the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000.
Ms Huynh and her company each pleaded guilty to 18 charges related to unauthorised withdrawals from the agency’s trust account.
The court heard Ms Huynh made 18 unauthorised transfers totalling $144,000 from the agency’s trust account to its general business account between 22 July 2011 and 27 January 2012.
Ms Huynh told Queensland Office of Fair Trading officers that she had used the money to pay business costs such as staff wages and rent.
The court took into account that Ms Huynh had co-operated with the officers and repaid all monies to the trust account.
Ms Huynh’s cooperation may have saved her from a much harsher punishment, with the maximum penalty for breaching the Act set at $54,000, or five years imprisonment for an individual, and $220,000 for a corporation.