A former property officer who stole more than $13,000 in rental bond money has been fined and sentenced to two 12 month good behaviour bonds.
Wayne Meara, aka Wayne De Battista, worked for three months at an unnamed Horsley Park real estate agency in 2010 where he conducted his crimes.
According to NSW Fair Trading, in September 2010, tenants of a property previously managed by Wayne Meara, vacated their premises and lodged a claim for a refund of their rental bond money. The tenants were notified by the Rental Bond Board that the bond had already been claimed.
The tenants informed the licensee at the real estate agency that their rental bond money had been claimed without their knowledge or authority.
The licensee contacted the Rental Bond Board and discovered that bonds on five properties listed with his real estate agency, totalling $13,076.97, had been claimed.
It was later established that the bond money had been deposited into the bank account of a friend of Wayne Meara.
Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said Wayne Meara submitted numerous claim forms to the Rental Bond Board with alleged signatures of the respective tenants. In each case, the tenants denied signing the documents or receiving payment.
Mr Stowe said Wayne Meara pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced by Downing Centre Local Court on 13 September 2012.
“Wayne Meara was convicted of five counts of breaching the Crimes Act regarding fraudulent claims he made on five rental bonds while he was employed as a residential property officer,” he said.
An arrest warrant was previously issued for Mr Meara by Downing Centre Local Court following his conviction for fraudulently claiming residential tenancy rental bond money.
Mr Meara did not appear before the Court at the time, but on 13 August he presented himself at Parramatta Police Station.