A former real estate agency accounts manager has been sentenced to a 15-month community correction order for stealing $160,000 in trust money to fund a gambling addiction.
Twenty year-old Nadim Mindraoui of Caroline Springs in Victoria was working with his father, the director of City Residential Real Estate, when he took money from the agency’s trust account between December 2010 and April 2012 for gambling purposes.
Mr Mindraoui was 18 when he started offending and had no previous convictions. The trust money has since been repaid by his father.
He pleaded guilty in Sunshine Magistrates’ Court to contravening the Estate Agent’s Act 1980 by fraudulently converting the trust money to his own use.
Under the community correction order, Mr Mindraoui has been required to attend the Sunshine Community Corrections Centre and perform 60 hours of unpaid community work, undergo a mental health assessment and treatment, and undergo an offending behaviour program as directed.
The sentencing magistrate noted that he would have received a jail term had it not been for his guilty plea.
When contacted by Real Estate Business, managing director of City Residential Real Estate Richard Mindraoui said he was shocked to learn of his son’s actions.
“There was no-one out of pocket. Everything was replaced and managed and taken care of immediately,” he said.
“He is my son and he did do the wrong thing ... I actually, out of my own pocket, paid for all the expenses and anything that I needed to do to rectify the situation.”
Mr Mindraoui has since hired an external auditor to regularly check their business every six months.
“I want to make sure it’s handled by a professional and something like that never happens again,” he said.